Never Again. | Home | Kill Me Now.

17 Oct 2005

Afterlife, Schmafterlife + A New Book.

Written by sally @ 11:23 am — Section: sally

I finally finished a book!

Remember when I was going to read 52 books in 52 weeks? Ha!

Anyway, I finished Spook. It wasn’t as good as Stiff, but people: I fucking love Stiff. It’s possible that I care more about cadavers than whether or not there’s an afterlife. Does this make me shallow? Possibly. Anyway, Mary Roach devotees still need to read Spook — the footnotes are completely, utterly worth it.

I used an Amazon gift certificate last week and got The Position by Meg Wolitzer, Julie and Julia by Julie Powell, and The History of Love by Nicola Krauss. People: you would have thought that it was a life-or-death decision yesterday afternoon when I was trying to decide which one to read. I read the first pages of each. I considered my mood lately. I factored in the just-having-read non-fiction, and decided upon The Position.

I read Wolitzer’s book The Wife a few years ago, which I thought was very, very, very well written — each sentence is labored over; I swear, there are sweat marks coming off of some of them from the sheer exertion of making them perfect — but had a crummy, Kate Chopin-like ending. [Confidential to Kate Chopin: sorry for equating your name with crummy shocker endings to books. I always liked teaching “Desiree’s Baby” and whatever that story is where the woman hears that her husband is dead, and feels free for the first time in her life, and after an hour’s reflection is sort of elated at the same time she is mourning, and then he walks through the front door and she drops dead. I also really like the rumor that you were poisoned by a hotdog at the 1904 World’s Fair, as that is a sassy story and it concerns the 1904 World’s Fair, which I love.]

Anyway, so far The Position is wooing me with introductions to characters like these:

From the time he’d been born, Dashiell had seemed to be in a perpetual search for treasure of some kind. He spent entire days wandering around the Wontauket dump, sifting through old furniture and car parts. It was as though he was convinced that there was something extraordinary to be found somewhere, because this sobering life could not possibly be all there was. Or if it was — oh God, what an enormous letdown, what a tragedy.

This passage is describing a 10-year-old boy who likes to pick his nose, by the way.

Click here for a great little essay about the book.

4 Responses to “Afterlife, Schmafterlife + A New Book.”

  1. Calla said:

    I want to read The Position SO BADLY. Lend it to me when you’re done?

  2. Prof. Fury said:

    That not-dead-husband story is “The Story of an Hour,” aka “A Quick Litmus Test to See Which Students Understand Irony…Oh, It’s Going to Be a Long Semester.”

  3. poobou said:

    I really want to read “Julie & Julia”. Be sure to let us know what you think of it when you’ve finished.

  4. Liz said:

    I just finishe Julie and Julia. I liked it, but I’ll tell you I want to give it to everyone who ever wants to write a book from a blog as an example of what is bound to happen even in the best case scenario. There are pitfalls with organization and flow that are almost unavoidable, even if the topic and writing are both good.