book talk … a reading club of one old man all alone … recent updates …

I have a book club. And like everything else in my life that most people do with other people, I do it alone. Here’s the update.

A long holiday weekend is about to begin, and while little in my current life keeps me from reading for hours at a time most any day, one of the things from my old life about which I was actually fond – to which I actually looked forward – were holiday weekends when I knew I might luxuriate in long hours of reading (or television marathons when I was too intellectually lazy or tired to read). So, heading into this Labor Day trio of unfilled days, empty of invitations – it seems fitting to catch up my two followers on what I have been reading.old man alone

When last I mentioned reading I had just finished “Beautiful Ruins” and quite enjoyed it. Since then I have read a book lover/mystery cozy by Lorna Barrett called “Murder is Binding” which was okay in that it was fast and frivolous and like a bon-bon, if not quite a dark chocolate/salted caramel delight.

After that I read Leslie Kelly’s “Don’t Look Away” (CLICK HERE TO BUY THE 3.99 EBOOK!). (TRUTH: LESLIE KELLY IS A FRIEND OF MINE – read about her here) This is a crime novel set in the future after the White House has been blown to bits and it creates a very believable world full of chips implanted in brains which can be retrieved after (and before, actually) death and – well – it’s complicated and great fun and Leslie really knows how to write and plot. She is especially gifted at relationship tension building and sex scenes.

Next in my reading came the much recommended by everyone who knows me from friends my own age to my teen niece, “The Fault in Our Stars”. I did like it very much. John Green is quite a gifted writer. The book is not exactly perky – topic wise – but it avoids the cloying mess of cliche it might have been in the hands of almost anyone. The accomplishment of writing a teen romance wherein both have terminal cancer and managing to make it about being alive is something profound and rare and I am glad I read it.

Then, just fifteen minutes ago, I finished one of the hot, new reads, “The Silent Wife” by A.S.A. Harrison. I should – after all these years – know better than to listen to hype. People (publicists, I presume) compared it to “Gone Girl” (which I thought was brilliantly composed but ultimately disappointing – as in, I hated the ending but loved the writing) and so I – idiotically – assumed this would be equally artfully done. It’s not. Far be it from me to trash a writer – that is in no way what I mean to do – I just mean that “The Silent Wife” does not have the intricacy of psychological nuance and plotting that “Gone Girl” did and feels – ultimately – contrived as opposed to lived.

Middle CSo, that’s what I’ve been reading – and now I must choose between a stack including “The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon and “The Virgins” by Pamela Erens and “Night Film” by Marisha Pessl and “Middle C” by William H. Gass (CLICK HERE to read NPR’s take on this novel and genius writer) and “The Gallery” by John Horne Burns as far as novels go. For non-fiction, I am in the middle of “Manson” by Jeff Guinn, but finding it tough going – nothing wrong with the writing, just the weight of the sorrow of the life and the lives ruined is a bit much for me right now; and I have “Zealot” by Reza Aslan waiting, along with “Fairyland” by Alysia Abbott and “Dreadful” by David Margolick … so, I’ve plenty to read.

Of course, who’s to say that I won’t end up prone, binge-watching television? I’m feeling a bit neglected and unloved – which has nothing to do with the marvelous people in my life and everything to do with my peckish and peevish inability to like myself.

Can I just say, I have already been once to the gym today and am thinking of going again because I caught sight of myself while changing clothes earlier and I cannot fathom how I can be spending the amount of time I am spending on cardio-machines and weights, keeping my heart rate at a ridiculous (and ever increasing – I keep challenging myself) level and STILL LOOK LIKE A SAGGY AWFUL UGLY OLD MAN?

Yeah. Not a good time here. Happy Holiday! (P.S. I have been stripped to my boxers and t-shirt since mid-afternoon, lazing on couch, reading and looking a slug – I am only waiting for 7pm to start having wine. If only I had been invited out for cocktail hour, I’d have started at 5. Alas. Still waiting for a strapping youth on the downlow to show up and knock on the door for some never to be revealed homo-fun. Alas, they all get so busy on a holiday weekend. Of well, if you qualify – and have nothing better to do- message me – but hurry, I’m about to start another book!)

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