While I'm in between reads, I've been dabbling in re-reads and random reads. The random books are essay collections that I can pick up at any time and may write feedback on at some future point (Marion Winik's Above Us Only Sky and Patricia Hampl's I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns From the Land of Memory; Both collections are wonderful; Winik's has that trademark snark that I love and Hampl's, oh my God, Hampl's is sumptuous prose. I'm savoring it like a box of bourbon balls.
The re-reads are an odd mix, to say the least: I just saw the latest Harry Potter movie (Deathly Hallows, Part 1) and it was so much fun I decided to re-read the book because in typical ADD fashion, I've forgotten all of the details. It's enjoyable bedtime reading and perhaps it will change my daughter's mind about letting us read the series to her. (Mommy reads it=it must be good! She's six so this is logical thinking.) The second book is a crazy juxtaposition to Harry Potter. I'm re-reading Elie Weisel's Holocaust memoir, Night. The book that forever shook my faith and has influenced my life, perhaps, more than any other book. Yeah, that book. I'm trying to access my 12-year-old mind, the mind that first opened to that fateful book, so that I can pour my bloodied thoughts into an essay. Sound like something you want to read? Yeah, me neither, but my mentor does. Plus, there's a contest over at Creative NonFiction with the writing prompt Night. Seemed like a good enough excuse to start my re-reading experiment. Oh, and Susan Orleans (The Orchid Thief) is the judge. Even if I write crap, to have Susan Orleans read over my crap would be a thrill.
To summarize: I am heading into the spiritual abyss, taking you with me, and maybe Susan Orleans too. As my dad would say: Whoopdeedoo.
(Postscript: I really want to read Just Kids Patty Smith's memoir about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe too. She just won the National Book Award for nonfiction!)