Sunday, May 17, 2009

(sighs in contentment)

I am a very fast reader. I have been known to skip the boring parts or to rush to the end to see what happens.

Sometimes, though, I pick up a book like this:

And nothing, no nothing, could make me speed through it because it's just. that. good.

Here is how you know Angle of Repose is brilliant. Not because it won Wallace Stegner the Pulitzer Prize. Not because Stegner's descriptions are so beautiful they make you think it would be cool to move to the middle of nowhere on the back of a mule and build your own house out of rocks. Not because Susan grapples 130 years ago with the balance between her family and her art, or because the narrator's efforts to imagine his story ring familiar to any writer, or because the tale is simultaneously so sweepingly universal and heart-wrenchingly specific. Not even because I dare secretly compare it to East of Eden, which you know rocked my world.

No. The way you can tell how much I am loving this book is that I have, on my bedside table, these:

Yet even the call of Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games is not enough to make me rush a single of Stegner's words.

Yum. What are you reading?


Anonymous said...

Can I have it when you are finished? I will always read something you so highly recommend.

Marina said...

Ooh, you are strong! I really enjoyed The Hunger Games -- just wish there'd been more of it!

Last night I sat up till one o'clock in the morning, even though I was already tired, even though my husband was begging me to come to bed, because I was reading Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. I've wanted to read this for ages, ever since I read some of their He Said/She Said writing workshops online. Yesterday I was at a school fete and found it at the secondhand book stall. It was so much fun I just couldn't stop!

Jacqui said...

Marina, we call those "can't go to sleep" books.

Anonymous, sure. I will send it to you. But the post office might need more info, like a zip code, or a continent.

J. Thorp said...

What am I reading? Korean Zen poet Ko Un's Flowers of a Moment, GK Chesterton's Orthodoxy, and a verse translation of The Odyssey -- the latest installment in your Summer Reading Challenge (from last summer).

The wheels of progress groan and slowly turn.Of the three, I recommend Ko Un. The other two are good, too, but in their own "special" ways ...

Jacqui said...

Mmm. I am going to reserve Flowers of a Moment at the library. Thanks, Thorp.

C.R. Evers said...

OK. I'm sold. I'm dying to read this book now!!!!!!

Right now I'm reading Downsiders by Neal Shusterman.

Michele Thornton said...

I read Angle of Repose years ago, and want to again. Soon. I also loved East of Eden (and The Long Valley) and can see the similarities.

I'm reading Gaiman's Fragile Things and A Taste of Rabbit (Zuckerman).

Jacqui said...

Michele, are you a Gaiman fan? And how is A Taste of Rabbit?

Christy, not so fast (see today's grumblings).

Paul Michael Murphy said...

I'm reading Prachett's NATION. Ehh--not so much. Looks like I'll be quitting it soon. JELLICOE ROAD is in the on-deck circle.