Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sleepy Sunday Salon

Yaaaaawn. Okay, I'm awake.

It's been a crazy week. I haven't worked much more than normal, but things have really picked up in the store and every day has been a busy day. Wednesday night I helped out at the Cambridge Public Library for the Zadie Smith event; Smith, author of White Teeth and On Beauty (among other things) appeared before a packed overflow crowd of Bostonians and Cantabridgians to read and talk about her new novel NW. I was intrigued enough to add it to my paperback list. The bookstore was selling books at the event and my job was crowd control, which involved making sure every seat was filled and everyone who could get a seat, got one. Then I flapped books and did personalizations for people waiting in line for the signing, which I actually find fun.

Otherwise I've been doing a lot of sewing; I completed a medium-sized throw (just the quilt top- I still have to quilt and finish it) and a small doll quilt with the scraps. I'll take pictures and show you soon. And reading! It's been a slow reading week for me. I finished The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers and Tyrant Memory by Horacio Castellanos Moya, a novel about a government takeover and coup in 1930s El Salvador. It mixes comedy and tragedy and was an enjoyable read. The Yellow Birds is a poetic and heartbreaking novel about the Iraq War. Between the two I think I'm ready for a fun read and I think that's going to be Robert Kaster's The Appian Way, a short travelogue of the famous Roman road.

This week I also got involved in an online discussion about the book Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, explaining to some folks why I think people should read it, after some folks expressed hesitancy because the subject matter upsets them. I have certainly passed on certain reads because of unpleasant subject matter (American Psycho? Fifty Shades? No thanks.) But I think with culturally important books that's not a great excuse, even if it's a human one. By skipping an important book, we miss out on a little of what shapes our culture, even the culture of the moment. But you can't read everything, right? I'm tempted to devote a whole post to this but I'm not sure I have more to say about it than that. What do you think? Have you read Lolita? Have you passed on reading it because you find the subject disagreeable?

That's it for me today. Head to Facebook for more Sunday Salon. Have a great day!