Tuesday, December 19, 2006

If You Could Read My Mind

Book club is reading Richard Russo's Straight Man for January. I'm trying desperately to finish though it's nearly 400 pages and I still haven't finished the Omnivore's Dilemma which I started in July. I've never read Empire Falls, Mr. Russo's most well-known work, though I'm enjoying his self-deprecating writing style. It's how I would wish to sound if I were to attempt to write anything longer than six paragraphs.
I sometimes wonder if everyone has at least one great novel in them. How many excellent books by first-time writers are out there which are followed up by mediocre second novels if they're followed up at all?
Mark Hadden's second book only received a fair review in Sunday's Boston Globe. Mr. Hadden's first book for adults, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is the town pick for Year of the Reader 2007. Happily we read it in book club last year so I'll be able to discuss the book and appear well read without having to actually squeeze in an extra read - as if it would be possible.
On a related note H's favorite book is Wheels on the Bus, the interactive version illustrated by Paul Zelinsky. It's the book I'm most frequently requested to read through his toddler pantomime - he hands me the book then pats the couch - I am suppose to sit down and read. His second favorite is Helen Oxenbury's Tickle Tickle, because he anticipates the big climax - the tickle, tickle - on the last page.
His big brother's book du jour is The Case of the Dumb Bells by Crosby Bonsall; part of a series of I Can Read detective novels by the same author. The book's copyright is 1966 which might explain why the overweight kid is inappropriately nicknamed Tubby. I'm a little disappointed in Ms. Bonsall, I think she should have known better.

song: If You Could Read My Mind • artist: Gordon Lightfoot

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