Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Read This Instead

Dear Oldest and Dearest Friends,

Of the many, many, many things on the list of traits that make you my oldest and dearest friends, I think maybe our shared love of reading is close to the top. (What? You thought I was going to say our craft ability? Ha!)

Remember what a good idea it was to read the same book before our annual get-together, giving us something we could discuss like intelligent and thinking adults instead of reminiscing once more about the cute guy who lived across the street from C when we were in high school? And remember how difficult it turned out to choose a book we all wanted to read?

I am so, so, so sorry about my recommendation, the one we eventually each bought and read a single chapter of before we realized it was total dreck. Who knew that someone who writes such an entertaining blog could come up with such a complete waste of paper by expanding this short and ephemeral medium to that long and lasting medium? I've also apologized to the trees that were sacrificed in its publication, and will be doing penance for some time for having contributed to the production of that memoir.

Since then, of course, I've read half a dozen books that have made me think "Oh! I wish we all could have read THIS one," or "Wow, we could have talked for half a day about THAT one."

The Tana French  Dublin Murder Squad series. Ohmygosh, so well written, so completely engrossing. I just finished the last one and I'm DYING for the next one to be written. Hurry up, Tana! Write!

Or the new Anne Lamott book that I'm itching to read. One of the things I like about us is that we can disagree and still love each other, and I bet this one could provoke some deep discussion.

But I'd like to propose a book for next year, or maybe for a virtual discussion before then. I'm reading My Year With Eleanor every morning as I slog along on the elliptical, and after the first two chapters I'm hooked. The author loses her job at age 29 and decides to spend the ensuing year doing one thing every day that scares her. (This, of course, follows the late First Lady's famous admonition that one should do one thing every day that...well, you know.)

Even if the next 20 chapters don't live up to the promise of the first two, this book has already made me think. You are my oldest and dearest friends, so you know how timid I tend to be. You've seen me hang  back from meeting new people. You've watched me turn pale as I approach the front row of a balcony. You know that my dislike of driving on ice borders on the pathological. What would I stare down if I did one thing each day that scares me?

So, what do you think? Want to read a book together? And can we invite anyone who reads this blog to read along?



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