One of my most vivid reading memories (aside from the hours I’d spend in the red beanbag chair in the kids room at the Carmel Valley Public Library reading and re-reading Julie Andrews Edwards’ The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles) was when at 14, I got the chicken pox for the first time and read, in a literal fever, Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine.
I hadn’t yet had the thought that a book was something I’d ever want to write myself, but I became aware (in a way that I couldn’t in that bean bag chair) of the book as a thing. And that in order to be transported, all I had to do was open this thing called book and do this other thing called read.
I mean, I was also itching all over and probably about a few fever degrees away from hallucinating, but still…I remember feeling this other thing called not alone. And that the presence of the spirit of the book was something that could not be argued.
Night before last I finished The Con by Ed McBain (Detective Steve Carella and life in the 87th Precinct…nothin’ like it). The women in the book were either 1) deaf and mute, 2) dumb enough to fall for a long-distance personal ad placed by a serial killer, 3) dead, or 4) about to be dead (from arsenic), but hey, it was published in 1957. Fun read!
Yesterday I read Robert Schirmer’s story “Ghost Theater” on Joylandmagazine.com. A haunting and brilliant story. (Also Bob Schirmer is an editor at Outpost19—two writers I know have digital books forthcoming with Outpost19).
And The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
I’m always reading and re-reading sections of Priscilla Long’s The Writer’s Portable Mentor.
I plan, next, to finish Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn. (The movie will be coming out soon and I want to have read this before the movie images overshadow my reading experience.)
After that, I will move on to Antonya Nelson’s novel Bound.
My mom suggested I read the article in the NYer about the tv show Portlandia. So I have that on my nightstand on the ready.