Contrary to how things may seem around here lately, I’m still here. Still reading. Still blogging.
(Assuming that writing blog posts in one’s head counts as blogging.)
I hear you laughing and snickering under your breath. I know what you’re thinking, that it takes some nerve to state this in a Sunday Salon post, of all things. My last appearance here in the Salon was nearly two months ago, back on September 1.
All this is because my new job is keeping me very busy – which is a very good thing. There’s a lot to learn and it’s an adjustment getting used to so many new things – everything from a new commute (as compared to a commute to the downstairs home office) to a new work culture.
That leaves little time and energy for blogging and – sadly – reading – but I’m hoping this will be temporary. It’s also more than a bit ironic as my job puts me within mere steps of more than five million books and other materials just waiting to be checked out and read. Talk about enabling. I go to a meeting and I come back with three books. It’s an occupational hazard. But from where I sit, it’s all good.
So I thought I’d use this week’s Sunday Salon to catch up on what I’ve been reading and listening to (audiobooks have once again become my BFFs) over the past month:
Maybe it’s the influence of the R.I.P. (Readers Imbibing Peril) Challenge (which I haven’t even officially signed up for yet, so … well, consider this my official sign up announcement!) or the very autumn/winter-like weather here in Pittsburgh this past week, or kids that have been talking about Halloween since the Fourth of July, but I seem to be gravitating to books that stray toward the spookier side of life. This is somewhat uncharacteristic of me. Books that go bump in the night are not my usual fare, but that’s what I’ve been immersed in.
On audio, I’m listening to Dan Chaon’s Await Your Reply (2010). I’ve heard a lot of good things about Mr. Chaon’s writing from other bloggers, but up until now, I’ve never read him. I chose this one from the library knowing nothing about this novel – which is actually three interconnecting stories. (I actually thought I had this on my TBR shelves, and thought that listening to it would help knock off at least one book from my ever-growing pile.) The opening story contains what may be the most gruesome scene I’ve ever read – or, in this case, listened to.
This is creepy. A bit unsettling, to say the least. Each of Mr. Chaon’s characters are struggling to come to terms with who they are, making this a suspenseful novel about identity.
When Await Your Reply becomes a bit too intense, I turn my attentions to Andrew Carnegie (2007). Actually, Carnegie has been my primary audiobook lately and the one I’ve been spending most of my time with. Some of you know why this would be of particular interest to me right now and, as I expected, this hasn’t disappointed. David Nasaw has written a fantastic historical account of one of business and philanthropy’s most intriguing figures. I’ll admit that some of the business deals are a bit over my head and that the personal aspects are more interesting.
A bonus to reading this: when I finish with Andrew Carnegie, this will mark a milestone for The Husband and me. We will have read the same book! (To fully understand what I’m talking about, read my February 2011 guest post for my friend Florinda’s blog, “Melissa’s Marriage of Readers: To Have and To Hold …The Same Book?“) I honestly never thought I’d see the day.
Last night I started The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells (2013) by Andrew Sean Greer, who has landed among my automatic must-read authors. I loved The Story of a Marriage and The Confessions of Max Tivoli and have been looking forward to this for awhile. I didn’t realize there was an AIDS storyline to this one. I seem to be drawn to this theme (yes, I see you, my beloved unfinished novel of mine) whether I like it or not.
Today’s a low-key day, which is just what I needed. Yesterday was a bunch of errands – Halloween costume shopping, grocery shopping, taking the daughter to a gymnastics event that lasted until 10 p.m – so I skipped church today in favor of sleeping in. We’re just hanging out doing our thing and watching football. I’m hoping to write/schedule some blog posts in advance and also make some dinners for the week ahead.
Hope you’re having a good weekend!