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Pickle Me This

December 18, 2012

Reading indulgently

the-watermelon-socialFor the last week, I’ve been reading indulgently, books of the year either read or pushed aside, and I’ve been reading my own idiosyncratic to-be-read stack, the books I’ve bought at college book sales, discovered in clearance bins, at yard-sales, or scooped from cardboard boxes put to the curb. And I’ve only been reading thin books, anything too heavy (literally or otherwise) put away for a later date. I’m in the mood right now for progress, for the massive pile of books before me to appear to be getting under control. I’m in the mood also for books that will go down easy, that will surprise me, new discoveries. I’m so tired of the books that everybody’s talking about, which either means that I start saying what everybody else is, or else the book fails to live up to the hype and I start thinking everybody is stupid. It means, of course, that when I do start to rave about Elaine McCluskey’s The Watermelon Social that it’s a little bit lonely. Can I tell you how much I loved the line, “For God’s sake, Les, when we were young, radio stations played ‘My Ding-a-Ling'”? I’ve also read The Only Snow in Havana by Elizabeth Hay, which is such a strange and wonderful book, an ode to Mexico City and Yellowknife, and the ties between them. About love, loss and the fur trade. Both books were rife with stuff I didn’t understand, but I didn’t mind, and it didn’t hinder my enjoyment. I love these indications of further treasures locked within. And now I am reading The Chronicles of Narmo, which is the novel that Caitlin Moran wrote when she was 15, and I expect I could get though it in a single bath, and that there will be not much there that I don’t understand, but plenty that will make me laugh, and that’s most all right too.

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