July 2006

At the end of the week we leave for nearly two months in Maine. Not sure how that's going to work -- we have no childcare and tons of work to do. Michael is laid out with RSI in his hands, and I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is sympathy pains or if I'm going to get it, too. Damn those hellish track pads. Anyway, I'm updating a little early, and then might not for a while. Larry’s Party by Carol Shields One of the things that surprised me about this quiet, lovely, novel, is how BAWDY it is. When she writes about sex, she does so beautifully, but also graphically. Kind of cool, since she look like a genial, reserved professor. In the Cut by Susanna Moore I really feel like my life would be better if I didn’t have stuck in my brain the image of this woman’s nipple sliced off and stuck into the pocket of her murderer. The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan I think I read this years and years ago but I remembered nothing. Why is it that I retain so little, even from books like this one, which I enjoyed? I’m so envious of people who can recall with amazing accuracy everything that they’ve ever read.

The Girls by Lori Lansens I've always loved the whole side show evilness. One of us, one of us.

The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith I let this book's bad reviews sway me and didn't read it until now. I thought it was great and I'm ashamed of myself.

The Good Mother by Sue Miller Yes, I reread this again. It just helps me to read Sue Miller when I'm writing.

The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner Michael says I read this years ago, but I don't remember. Sigh. The writing is, of course, incredible, almost incredible enough for me to rise above the fact that much of the novel is about this man raging against age and, inevitably, death. Almost. Not quite. I feel the same about this book as I do about later Roth. I have a hard time being interested, although I'm sure in 20 years or so I'll be as obsessed with aging as they are.

Because it is Bitter and Because it is my Heart by Joyce Carol Oates I feel like I'm just discovering Oates afresh.

Shiksa Goddess by Wendy Wasserstein She's a much better playwright than essayist.

Memoirs of a Muse by Lara Vapnyar This book cracked me up.

July, July by Tim O'Brien Such a good writer, even if his women characters don't act quite like women, more like men's idea of women.

Can you Hear the Nightbird Call by Anita Rau Badami I can't say anything about this novel, because I'm judging a contest.

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner Definitely my favorite book this time around. Magnificent.