Thursday, July 31, 2008

Readerly Stuff

Hey, remember when I asked you if you could recommend some books? Damn. You ladies are good. I just finished Marianne Wiggins’s The Shadow Catcher, and, Jessica, I will kiss you full on the mouth for introducing this to me. It’s a novel, but reads like a history within a memoir. It’s just about everything I’ve been wanting in a book lately, and I’m all giddy that I haven’t read any other Marianne Wiggins so I can just gorge myself.

I’ve been reading a lot lately. To provoke thoughts. Because otherwise my brain has just been emitting garbage like, “I could really go for some watermelon right now” and “I wonder when the new season of Love of Rock is going to start.” I’d like to think that maybe the subconscious is busting its ass getting the structure of my new project together, but I may be deluding myself.

In addition to The Shadow Catcher,, I also found some good thought provocation in The Best American Crime Reporting. Almost every single piece in it is top-notch—yes, there is a crime, but also some great insights.

Take this passage from Ariel Levy’s “Dirty Old Women,” about women who sleep with teenage boys:

“We (still) like to keep our understanding of masculinity connected to our understanding of maturity. We’d never had a female anchorwoman deliver our news until recently, we don’t often let female columnists explain the news, and we’ve never had a female president to make the news. For many Americans, being a real grown-up requires a penis. And if you’ve got that, even if you’re only 15, you must have the maturity and the manliness to know what you want to do with it—even if that involves intercourse with a 42-year-old. Who among us would say the same thing about a 15-year-old girl?”

There’s a goodly amount of this sort of brain work in the book.

And here’s something for the journalists among us:

“Did you see Bertucci’s testimony?” he’s saying as he’s driving. “Was it good for my case? Fuuuuuuck. It was awesome for my case.”

That’s from Tom Junod’s “The Loved Ones” and I wouldn’t be able to contain myself if a quote like that fell in my lap.

1 comment:

jessica said...

When you kiss me, I want a photo. In case I ever have to blackmail you, or something.

Personally, I think we should both kiss Marianne Wiggins. It's a book that's so good I either want to give up, or emulate it, not sure which.