April 2005

I'm starting a new novel (have I said that before), and I'm reading for inspiration. I'm also reading stuff that comes across my night stand, but mostly, I'm reading for inspiration. Little Children by Tom Perrotta. Yes, I read this before, not too long ago. But I suddenly had this horrible fear that my novel was too much like this, so I had to reread it. I'm fine. Thank god. Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler. I've also read this before, but you can never read Anne Tyler often enough. I think this one is particularly charming. And it says remarkable things about grief.

Train by Pete Dexter. This book has the single best description I've ever read in my life in it. A man's thighs likened to children hiding in a pair of curtains. The writing is just out of this world.

Symptomatic by Danzy Senna. Intense and interesting novel about the meaning of race. Celestial Navigation by Anne Tyler. This one broke my heart.

The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler. I know, I know. What's with all the Anne Tyler? She's just such an inspiration to me...she reminds me that you can write simply but beautifully. She takes as her subject families and women, and does it without ever being treacly.

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler. I don't need to say anything more about her, do I? My Life as a Fake by Peter Carey. I love Peter Carey. I wished I had more of every one of these characters.

Plays Well with Others by Allan Gurganus. This book is so funny, and he's a master of word play.

Fat Girl by Judith Moore. Oh my God. I spent ten minutes staring at my thighs after reading this book. Staring at them, and groaning in horror.

Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh. Well, it didn't do this book any favors to read it along with so much Anne Tyler. Living Out Loud by Anna Quindlen I'm reading her to try to figure out this column-writing business, both on a technical level, and on an emotional level. Maybe I'll learn how to construct a column that will not result in me being burned at the stake. Or maybe not. Perfect Madness by Judith Warner When something rings true, and rings true to a specific class of women, everyone has to just rip it to shreds. I thought much of this book was dead on. I fear the call to action is too simple, however. Still, who doesn't want better child care?