Tuesday, June 28, 2011


For Christmas, my sister gave me Jonathan Franzen's new novel, Freedom. I was pleased to get the book and I set it aside for when I might have a little more time to read, like 2012. Or maybe when the kids finish up graduate school.

Now here's a book I could
find time to read.
I used to read dozens, maybe even hundreds of books a year. Now my time to read is very limited. This means that when I do sit down to read a book, I tend to choose something that is not very challenging. That is my excuse for why I like to read young adult literature. Of course, I enjoyed reading young adult literature even before I had limited reading time, and I'm not sure what my flimsy excuse I managed to come up with then.

Because I enjoy young adult literature, I thought I might like the Twilight series. I picked up a copy at the library, and in case you are one of the three people in the farthest corners of the universe who have not actually formed an opinion of the Twilight series, let me tell you it is awful. I know it's hard to be a teenager -- why would we make life even harder for them by foisting this type of book on them?

Another really bad, really popular book is The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, which for a while there was inescapable and had the American public keeping an eye out for murderous Jesuit priests everywhere, including the dairy aisle of the grocery store. My father, who I have never seen read a book for pleasure, told me he had decided to finally pick up a novel, and the one he chose was The Da Vinci Code. Why did he have to choose that particular book?!? It's as if you've somehow never seen a movie in your entire life, and the first time you buy a ticket, it's to go see The Garbage Pail Kids Movie!

This is what my father does
during movies.  
My father has seen a movie before, although he often falls asleep when watching them, and whether he has actually seen a movie the whole way through to the end remains an open question. I remember one time going to see the movie Eyes Wide Shut with him. That was Kubrick's last film, and it got pretty weird in spots, and turned out to be too kinky of a movie to comfortably watch with a parent. During one hot and heavy moment, I snuck a look over at my father to see how he was handling the film. Fortunately he was a very quiet snorer.

I was a little apprehensive about starting my book, because I have so little time to read these days that I only want to read books that are going to be worth my while. Fortunately, Freedom so far has turned out to be excellent. It's a very funny book, full of white well-educated liberals in the Upper Midwest, who are comically self-absorbed. I'm trying very hard not to see my own self reflected in this book, because I'm not comically self-absorbed, am I? Am I? Am I am I am I am I?

I'd forgotten how pleasant it is to sit down for a few hours and plow through 200 pages of a good book. I think I need to set more time aside for reading in my life, and I've started a list of books I want to read. I already have the next one picked out: Garbage Pail Kids, The Book. 


  1. There is no excuse for the da vinci code. Really, I can't even be bothered to capitalize it.

  2. My dad also never reads for fun, but also has read the da Vinci code! And I still have not.

  3. I've tried to join a book club, but can't get through the books. A first for me. My solution, try and start a book club with a twist, people just get together and recommend books they've read. Probably won't work for me either, because I too have fallen off the bookworm mobile...Curious George Gets A Bike is the longest thing I've read beginning to end since Maeve arrived. One kid, I still read, two kids, not so much. Maybe when they're in college!