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Pickle Me This

August 7, 2009

Now reading/not reading/etc.

I am now reading Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading, and I’m loving it, loving it, loving it. The “book reports” it contains remarkable, not just because Lizzie Skurnick indulges in good nostalgia, but because of the subtext she unearths the second time around– her treatment of classics, including Daughters of Eve, Harriet the Spy, Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade, and The Cat Ate My Gymsuit demonstrate something wildly substantial (and subversive) going on in YA literature back in the day.

I’ve not managed to read through a single magazine/periodical since my daughter was born, and so I’ve got a stack beside me on my desk right now and no clue when I’m going to get to them. (FYI: my “desk” is now an end-table beside my gliding chair in the living room, which actually works out quite handily.) There are so many books and so little time that periodicals hardly seem to factor into the equation. I should probably make a new blog label called “Not Reading” and then I could write about it all the time.

Last Friday I had to spent two hours waiting at the Passport Canada office, and they’d probably never seen anyone happier to wait. Mostly because I HAD A BOOK IN MY BAG and BABY WAS ASLEEP IN HER PRAM. Baby stayed asleep for two hours (and then, having exhausted her patience/goodness resource, proceeded to be horrible for the rest of the day, so much so that I was destroyed by evening, but alas) so that I had more uninterrupted reading than I’d had in 2.5 months. It was extraordinary, particularly as I was reading the marvelous Between Interruptions: 30 Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood. Only problem with that being that the book was so engaging, I felt like I’d lived the lives of 31 mothers that day, which probably contributed to my destroyment by 5 pm.

Anyway, speaking of waiting, Rona Maynard on waiting-room lit and Marilynne Robinson’s Home. Rebecca Rosenblum’s submission tips for aspiring writers is also worth a read. The great Lauren Groff, illuminatingly, on rejection notices. What’s wrong with charity book shops? is an interesting (though not conclusive) response to questions raised in the thought-provoking article “Selling Civilization” from Canadian Notes and Queries.

Now, must wake baby, feed baby, change baby. For we’re off to a program at the library that promises songs, and stories and “tickle rhymes” for all. (I’m not sure if it’s sad or amazing that this is my life now.)

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