When we met for lunch in town a couple weeks ago, Scott's cousin Bev brought me four books to read. I started Girl on a Train and remembered, on the first page, that I’d read it not long ago. Actually I didn’t read it all. I read the first few chapters and then skipped to the end to see what happened. Some books are like that; you don’t enjoy the reading of them, you just want to know what happens. Some books seem to plod on and on, taking forever to get where they’re going. Bev said she often, lately, finds herself reading a bit of a book before remembering she’s already read it. I just did the exact same thing.
I got A Beauty, by Connie Gault, from the library. Read the first 120 pages and then skipped to the end, finding myself uninvolved with the characters, not wanting to accompany them on their journey from start to finish. Sometimes I just don't give a hoot. What're ya gonna do?
The stack Bev lent me contains the latest Flavia de Luce mystery by Alan Bradley. Thanks to Bev and her book collection, I’ve read the entire series till now. Little Miss Flavia is a quirky child sleuth and she's funny (without knowing it, poor kid), but instead of picking up this book first, I’m saving it till last. It's nice to have a good book — one that I know won't disappoint — to look forward to.
The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith, is on the bedside table right now and it's one I've just begun and know I'll finish. Some just are. What is it that makes some books can-hardly-put-downs and others set-asides? Is it the state of being of the reader at the time, or is it the quality or style of the writing, or the uniqueness of the story, or what?
On the weekend I started Benediction, by Kent Haruf. Instantly I was drawn in. The writing is plain and clear yet forcefully alive, and immediately I cared about the many characters. It was all I could do to stay out of bed and wait till the evenings to get back to reading it.
In the magazine rack in the bathroom is another book that just came from the library. It’s called Difficult Conversations, and is about communication, about how we all think we are right and that those who don't see it our way are wrong, and how we won't enjoy satisfactory results of communication till we understand that we aren't more right than others and learn to seek solutions that make sense to those on all sides of an issue.