I finally finished reading Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri!! It’s a fabulous collection of short stories–perfect for me these days, given my currently limited attention span. I tend to go through reading phases. Ever since I escaped from the grind of academia, I’ve been particularly lax about reading. Usually, I find something else to do: vegetate in front of the TV, read magazines & newspapers, write e-mails, talk on the phone, run around in circles. I also think that the abnormally large volume of books I read during my youth is due to my living in the middle of f*cking nowhere (hello? Cleveland, Missouri???) for so many years–given more access to stimulation, I probably wouldn’t have been such a bookworm. Now, I find myself reading “it” books only years and years after they made a splash (Lahiri won the Pulitzer in 2000; I also finally read White Teeth, The DaVinci Code, Girl With a Pearl Earring, and Life of Pi just this year.)
Anyway, I really enjoyed how Lahiri lovingly describes Boston (most of the stories are set in or around the city). She gets all of the details right–waiting for the T, braving bitter winter winds, going to Cardullo’s in Harvard Square. Even though I’ll most likely never live there again, Boston was a memorable year for me with lots of good times, good eats (most of my memories involve food–Taiwanese & late-night Chinese dining in Chinatown, the Barking Crab on the Waterfront, Italian food and Mike’s Pastries in the North End, Darwin’s in Cambridge, Anna’s Taqueria, Mul’s on Broadway, random bar in Fields Corner where we watched the NBA playoffs during a blackout).
I’ve still got the last 1/2 of Al Franken’s Lies . . . And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them to finish, so I’ll probably hit that next. It’s a little depressing to read, however, knowing we have to endure another term of W. I also have H.’s copy from KoRoot of Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude taunting me. Finally, I recently ordered two new books: What’s the Matter With Kansas? by Thomas Frank and Somebody’s Daughter by Marie Myong Ok Lee. The former is supposed to explain how the heartland became brainwashed by conservatives into voting against their best interests, and the latter is a novel by a Korean-American woman about a 22-year-old Korean adoptee who travels to Seoul and ends up searching for her birth mother. Two books right up my alley!!
Bill Clinton’s autobiography continues to serve as a nice bookend on my shelf. I have a feeling this is going to be another Katharine Graham autobiography for me–meaning that it will probably take me 2+ years to finish reading (K. Graham book, by the way, is fantastic!! Don’t let my laziness deter you from picking it up!!). Also have the newest novel by the authors of The Nanny Diaries on my shelf. I’ve been avoiding reading it, b/c it’s set in Manhattan, and I’m not in an NYC-state-of-mind right now.
Let me know if you have any good suggestions for future reads. . .