Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book of the Year

This is what I am reading.  But it is not just a book you read, it's a book you live.  It's a book you suffer with.      It's a book you learn from, and hopefully grow with.

This is a hard book.  Will Schwalbe chronicles his conversations with his mother, Mary Anne (one of my new heroes) as they sit together and she endures her chemo.  So if you've had to do that, you know.  I don't have to tell you how hard this is.

But what also makes it hard is that they discuss books.  And I feel like I am out of the loop if I haven't read a book they discuss (or simply refer to).  So, it's taking me forever, as I have to stop and read the referenced material before I let myself move on.

But it's a good forever.  Currently, I am reading Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.  Would I have read it but not for Book Club?  Maybe.  Stegner's Angle of Repose has been on a list in my little "to read" notebook for years.  So many years, in fact, that I have no idea why it's on the list, or who told me about the book, or where I read about it.  If I had read Angle of Repose, I might have gone on to Crossing to Safety -- I can only hope.  If you haven't ready Stegner, you might want to -- it's quite a beautiful story in quite beautiful writing.  

I've done this before -- when I read The Jane Austen Book Club, re-read a lot of Austen so that I could better understand the discussion in the book.  And that was a good time.  (But don't watch the movie. Disappointing.)  When I read The Weird Sisters this summer, I re-read a lot of Shakespeare.  

But it is an extra good time when you read a new book and are exposed to other books that are (embarrassingly) new to you, as well.