Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Salon

This Sunday I had planned to take a little daytrip to one of the islands in Boston Harbor, but weather predictions of thunderstorms kept me home. So I'm reading!

I'm about halfway through Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife and really enjoying it. I haven't read her other books but she's definitely no lightweight. It reminds me just a little of Margaret Atwood's book The Blind Assassin in that it's a first-person fictional memoir written at the end of a long and varied life, full of foreshadowing and seeming to promise a good payoff. I'm interested to see what the payoff is but in the meantime it's a very engaging read.

My project of the day was cleaning off my bedside table, laden with books. I keep most of my short-story collections there, because short stories are great when I have a little time and just want something I can read in one sitting. I also have two "bedside books" that I'm reading a chapter at a time- David Sedaris's When You Are Engulfed in Flames and Israeli author Zeruya Shalev's Husband and Wife. I like reading this way, a little at a time. As soon as I finish one of those books I already have several lined up. The first will be Antonia Fraser's biography of Marie Antoinette, which I picked up at a library sale a while ago and am simply dying to get to. (No, I was not named after her!)

I also dusted off one of my treasures- my Penguin 60s collection. Back in 1995 I was living in Ireland and the publisher Penguin was celebrating its 60th anniversary by offering 60 miniature books for 60 pence apiece; they were also selling the entire set boxed. Each miniature book contains a single short story- fiction and nonfiction, and I haven't read all of them, and I may never, but the set is one of my favorite souvenirs of that trip.

Well back to the books. What are you up to today?