I had this strike back on the pregnant comments idea.I wanted to take all kinds of pictures of me doing unpregnant things.
Like playing football.
Payback, baby. Payback to all those people who think it’s okay to rub my belly and say things like I discussed last week.
But then that’s not really payback when you think about it. And also, I can’t play football, rock climb or move a couch right now. Plus I’m not (seriously not) one of those cute pregnant girls who should pose naked on the front of magazines or wear tight pants or bikinis or talk about how they can run five miles at eight months pregnant. I’m regular. Huge regular.
I was thinking if I really did do that, I could maybe write a book to go with the shots. Like a picture book? But then that’d scare kids. Or a memoir–about my belly. Or a coffee table book. Because you know you want a book of large pictures of an extremely pregnant woman laying out in your living room.
Anyway, that occurred to me. The other thing that I’ve been thinking about is books. Recently I read this article on the top 100 books by PW. (Yay to Ally for making the top childrens books). I was thinking how I hadn’t read very many of the books on the adult list so I decided to check some out. I picked one author in particular that I felt like I should read–like as a book person, I should have at least read one of their books. I went to the library and checked it out.
It was a fat book. A very fat book and I felt smart just holding it. I was excited to get home and start reading. So that night, after the kids were asleep, I dove in.
The writing was beautiful. So beautiful and I didn’t know a lot of the words–I should have been looking them up as I read but I didn’t. The book was about a family in the midwest that was fractured–the kind of stuff that I normally like. Normally. But something was missing. As I read, I was trying to figure out why I could not get attached to the story. I kept reading, hoping I would like it more. Hoping I would be more engaged in the action but it was not happening. Finally, by page 300 with 300 pages still to go, I closed the book.
I am not going to finish it.
I don’t usually do this. And it’s not for moral or ethical or whatever reasons that would make me seem noble. It’s just that, I did not care for one character in the entire novel. Not one. I mean they were well-written. and round.and full of flaws. But I didn’t like them. Or care what happened to them. How can that be? How can a book with such acclaim have characters that are so frustrating?
I normally would keep going. Keep reading for the sake of saying I read it. To feel good about having read it even if I don’t like the characters but can appreciate the writing. But lately I’ve grown impatient. Maybe more picky? More demanding? More what?
What is it?
There are a few things I know:
I know that I want to feel something when I read. I want to feel a range of things when I read. I know I want the book to change me, to pull me into the world, to make me think about my own life when I read. I know these things. This book didn’t do that.
How do they judge the best books of 2010? How do you judge the best books? What do you want out of a book? Because really, an author is asking a lot of his/her readers. He’s asking them to spend hours with him. Hours. He’s asking them to put aside other things, other books, other people, other responsibilities and spend quality time with them.
How do you choose your books? What do you want out of the experience? Why do you read? Do you ever close a book? For what reasons?
And last of all, what books do you feel everyone should read?
Okay. That’s all.
I’ll post of picture of me skiing in a bikini next week. Because that is totally happening.