Okay, I'm a day late.
Yesterday I took the train from Boston down to Manhattan for the day, to visit my friend Jean; we've been close friends since college and we see each other 3-4 times a year on average. She's a lawyer but she was nice enough to take Friday off and hang out with me. We had a great lunch, went to the zoo, and of course, went book shopping.
I was actually quite restrained in my purchases!
We spent a good portion of the afternoon at my favorite New York bookstore, The Strand. "Miles and miles of books" is its logo and they're not kidding. They have new books and used, half-price review books- everything from cheap paperbacks to collectible volumes costing hundreds and thousands of dollars. Love it!
I only bought a few things; I was there for something in particular and promised my husband I wouldn't buy anything else, but didn't quite keep that promise. I got a first-edition hardcover copy of my favorite novel, Possession, for the bargain price of only $7.50- I mean, $7.50! In perfect condition! It would have been a crime not to buy it.
The book I came there to buy was a signed hardcover of Paul Auster's new book, Man in the Dark. Auster is a very serious literary writer I've liked since college- in fact, Jean and I got to
know his work together back then, when we went to see him do a reading at MIT for his book New York Stories. So he's got a sentimental place for us in our friendship. And of course I was excited to hear about his new book.
Finally this week, I got and read Faye Kellerman's old-school potboiler, The Ritual Bath. Potboiler? This is not your normal cup of tea, Marie, I hear you say. No, it's not. I read it for a book club. I can't say I loved it. I can't even say I really liked it, but it did keep me turning pages. It was great to keep me busy on the train ride down to NYC, but that's all I can say. I'm trying to decide if it's even worth my while to write a formal review. We'll see.
On the train ride home I got a monster headache and couldn't do much reading. I skimmed the first few pages of Possession but that's all I could do. And since I've read it many times it was both low-stress and enjoyable. Which is what reading should always be, right?