(Scott Russell, you probably don’t read my blog, but if you do, I’m sorry I used to roll my eyes at your Stewy impressions, I didn’t get it then. I do now. )
A goal that I have set for myself this year is to read 26 books. That’s one book every two weeks. This may surprise you (or not) but I am not a good reader. I mean, I’m capable, and I enjoy it, but I do not have the patience for it. So I suppose another goal I have set for myself is to become more patient. I would also like to write more and get out of my horrible writing habits, but I don’t think I’ve read enough to write well, or at least not at the level that I would like to be able to write at.
I have read two books this year, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. The first because it’s easy reading, I needed something to get me back in the swing and that book had been in the trunk of my car for at least a year, it was time. I started reading The Lovely Bones years ago when I originally bought it, but I never finished it and so it’s been sitting on my shelf all that time and now with the movie, that despite bad ratings I want to see, I decided to read. It was written really well and I enjoyed it until the end. The end was not what I wanted in the least. If you have read it, I’d be interested to see what your take is.
Now I am reading Feast of Love by Charles Baxter. My friend Trevor and I saw the movie our senior year of high school and by the end of it I was in full panic-attack mode (there was one scene in particular that set me off that I don’t feel like relaying now). This was the first time he had seen me cry and unfortunately for him I drove, and I wasn’t ready to go home, so we drove from Springfield to Doswell and turned around in the Kings Dominion parking lot. I recall calling my sister April to see if we could stay at her house that night and she was adamant about me driving home as she knew our parents would be upset. We did, and by the time we got back I had calmed down and was really uncomfortable.
Trevor gave me the book for Christmas that year and wrote a note on a piece of brown paper bag and taped to the inside cover: “ Amanda, Happy Christmas! This has been a strange year, for sure (and you added to the strangeness) but it would have been very lonely without you. Thanks for being a laugh when I needed one, and an asshole when I don’t. Cheers! Love, T”
I also found my interim report card from that grading period and am using it as a bookmark. My mark for work habits in Literature was a U, for unsatisfactory – from a teacher whom I got on very well. My life has not moved very far from this in the years since.
Starting The Feast of Love was slow, but I have gotten into and may very well finish within the week. This is something small, but something nearer than all the plans I keep making for the future that is so uncertain. Something small that keeps me somewhat grounded, even if I’m using it as a measure of time, too. So many books that I have bought and started and never finished, I will finish them this year.