Monday, July 12, 2004

Summer Reading

My tutoree has all these summer reading books that I haven't heard of, except for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn . What happened to good ol' Animal Farm and Watership Down ?? Talking animals. Now that's good readin'.

I recently just ordered delivery of the NYT so I don't pay a dollar every day on my way to work. But really, a lot of times I end up reading the arts section, first page, op-eds, and attempting the crossword puzzle (I know today is only Monday but it seemed disarmingly easy. Look up there! There's my head full of air! Don't worry, my lack of skill will come back home when it gets hungry). I didn't even rifle through the rest of the sections, so I wouldn't have noticed the NYT "Great Summer Read" insert but for good ol' Gothamist.

They're serializing four novels, starting with The Great Gatsby. You get excerpts every day except Sunday, so by then, you've finished a book. It's kind of a cool idea. If it catches on or has a life beyond the summer, it'll be interesting, all harkening back to the printed pages of yore.

I remember Gatsby being pretty high up on my i-like-this high school reading list. One of the most frustrating, and arguably beautiful, things about books though, is that not only are there so many out there for the reading, your views/opinions of them change as you age and grow. Okay, that's not exactly a subtle observation. But I'm always a little surprised when books, like people, spring higher or fall down from you're expecting since you last met. I'm hoping I will enjoy Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man much more the second, older time around.

Though, now that I think about it, everything's sorta like that. Expectations, the meeting of them, and the gaps. Mind the gap.

But, no matter what, I won't like roller coasters. That's right. I'm a party pooper. You go have fun on your death machine. I'll go win an unhuggable toy animal stuffed with newspaper.


Roger said...

I don't think I read Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the first time around. I remember trying to read at least the first chapter, but I don't remember anything about the book besides using the term 'stream of consciousness' a lot when talking about it.
But memories of a plot (if any) aren't necessarily a good indicator for me; I remember liking Light in August, so I must've read it, even though I can't remember the story at all. There might've been some sort of racial theme/lesson. Damn, I wish I had a memory for books.
I think that's part of why I hate reading books. Because I forget them. I have certain books that I love, but I only love them while I'm reading them, and maybe for five minutes after I finish them. Then it starts to fade, and I'm left with nostalgia for the love, but not the love itself. It's disappointing.

Walter said...

To a certain extent, I think, "Who cares how you feel?" You as in me, yourself, how one feels. Who cares how long one feels good, or how good it was. I mean it matters in pulp fiction, but I would categorize this as "nice" or whatever. But a book that's good, to me, ya know, leaves a mark on you. It's not just emotional, like wah wah wah, but it's affecting (meant in the way of "affecting change" or something).

janet said...

I like that idea, of leaving a mark, in theory. I say in theory because I'm never very conscious about self and change and marks for that matter. that was a not well-constructed sentences, but none of these are. questions like what was the most significant thing about your life? what experience changed you? I don't do well with those. I never have an answer. I just don't think of things like that. i guess that's why i have so much trouble with not really remembering books beyond whether i liked them or not. i'd Like to point to some thing and say, this, this was great, invariably changing something about who i am. maybe i dont take the effort to pin down, verbalize, so to speak. i dont think i know what i mean.