Monday, August 30, 2010

Clearing Out the Bodies

I haven't finished a book in over a month, and that's just stupid. In short, between life and Coop, I stalled out in a big way. To make a confession, I STILL have 50 pages left in Coop, and it's been over a week since I've picked it up. I think it's time to clear out the bodies.

I'm not throwing up the white flag completely; I will finish the last pages, but to say that it's become a slog is an understatement. While I enjoy the book overall, Perry's style is not fast-moving, and I need something to help me out of my slump.

With fresh starts in mind, I started reading Zadie Smith's White Teeth in the bathroom this morning. That's right. Somewhere between a shower and getting Greyson up for a bottle, I parked on the throne with new reading material. How's that for transparency and sharing?

I've had this book on my stacks for YEARS, and in an ongoing effort to clear out older books on my shelves, I've decided it's time for ole Zadie to have her moment in my life. I've often thought of picking up White Teeth, but the oft soul-sucking buzz made me turn away. In truth, I only own it because it was on the $1.00 clearance at Half-Price Books.

To my shock and awe, Smith made me LOL in the bathroom. From page 4, as Archie Jones tries to kill himself by asphyxiation:
The thinnest covering of luck was on him like fresh dew. While he slipped in and out of consciousness, the position of the planets, the music of the spheres, the flap of a tiger moth's diaphanous wings in Central Africa, and a whole bunch of other stuff that Makes Shit Happen had decided it was second-chance time for Archie. Somewhere, somehow, by somebody, it had been decided that he would live.
How's that for snappy prose? Somehow the narration reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Stranger Than Fiction. I hope the rest of the journey is this much fun. Any writer who can make suicide attempts laughable has my respect.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly event to list the books finished last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finish this week. It was created by J.Kaye’s Book Blog, but is now being hosted by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books.


  1. Wow, great passage! I liked Zadie Smith's book of essays (Changing My Mind), and I want to read White Teeth, but it's always checked out at the library. Someone won't return the Main Library copy.

  2. That passage does remind me of Stranger than Fiction which is also a favorite of mine. Happy reading!

  3. Ooh Stranger than Fiction was such a fantastic movie.

    It's been a rather long time since I've read any Zadie Smith. I remember enjoying White Teeth a lot, but wasn't as fond of her other two books. I am quite curious about her book of essays, Changing My Mind, though.

  4. I've had times like that, where I couldn't seem to finish anything I started, and thus seemed to lose my impetus to read anything at all.

    I'm glad you found something to break the miasmic (is that a word) cycle!

    Right now, I'm having the opposite problem -so many good books, I can't wait to finish one so I can get on to the next. Right now, reading My Name is Mary Sutter, and loving it. Next up, Love in Mid Air, I think.

  5. That passage was fantastic! No wonder it made you laugh! And so that you know, your entire post made me giggle -- love it!!

  6. Isn't it great to pick up a book that's been languishing on your stacks and discover gems?

    Great excerpt...

    It's been many years since I had to read while child rearing, but I do remember it! Good luck!!

    Click my name for my URL.

  7. Whoa! Like you, I have avoided Zadie Smith. Something like that soul sucking buzz... (that made me LOL by the way). But that quote! Wow! Is all the writing like that because damn, I may have to get my hands on that!

  8. Great, great book! I'm jealous that you're just getting to discover it for the first time. Wish I could go back to that moment... ;)

  9. I've had White Teeth on my TBR pile for years as well!

  10. I'm all for any book that makes me laugh that early in the morning. I just started Out of the Shadows.

  11. Great excerpt you posted! Definitely sounds like a good read.

  12. i'm also facing a bit of reading lassitude of late. i've got four books going but can't finish ANY of them.

    school starts on thursday...maybe that's blocking my reading ju-ju? it's like bad feng shui or something.

  13. Ok - this sounded so funny "To my shock and awe, Smith made me LOL in the bathroom."

    Now that is a must read! :D Have a super week!

  14. Intriguing passage. Embarrassing: I have Smith's On Beauty on my bookshelf and haven't begun it. You've just reminded me that I should. How do I manage to collect things on my shelf and forget about them so easily?

  15. Ha, glad you found the book that will get you out of your reading slump. I think it must be something in the air because I've been in a major slump myself.

  16. I've read this aeons ago :) and enjoyed it. Back then I didn't have a book blog :) Maybe I'd have fun rereading this one soon.

  17. I'm in a bit of a reading slump myself, and White Teeth has been on my TBR pile forever. Actually, I'm not sure I even own it anymore, but I do want to read it. Enjoy!

  18. Jenny, isn't that great?! I'm usually a big fan of essays by authors I want to try. If it's someone I've had doubts about I can often use essays as a way into their work. Will definitely be trying hers. I have On Beauty on my TBR, too.

    Vasilly, isn't it a great movie? I was tickled when I saw that the voice is very similar in this novel.

    Olduvai, I loved it the first time I saw it. I think I turned around and watched it again right away. :)

    Becca, I'm looking forward to getting back to a place in my reading where I can't wait to whip through to the next book. Here's hoping it happens soon!

    Thanks, Coffee and a Book Chick! :DD

    Thanks for stopping by, Laurel! It is wonderful to find a gem already on the shelves.

    Heather, so far so good. I haven't gotten much further, but what I have read has been in the same vein. Very clever, funny, awesome!

    Greg, it tickles me to hear you say that! I love those books that I envy others the opportunity to read them for the first time. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, wow!

    Jump on it, Stephanie!

    Kathy, I don't think I'm familiar with the one you're reading. Will have to check that out!

    Thanks, Belle! I'm enjoying it so far.

    Nat, the start of school always has that effect on me. This year it was compounded by the kiddos starting school. We had meet-the-teacher night last night, and it was really fun but it was also really late when we got home! Lots of those nights lately.

    Sheila, I think that's my new measuring stick for new books: can it make me LOL in the bathroom.

    Katie, I do the same thing constantly. I have On Beauty too! They've both been languishing for a scandalously long time.

    Kathleen, well as much as I don't want my fellow readers and bloggers to slump, it's nice to be in good slumpy company! :D

    Lightheaded, it is fun to re-read books I first encountered pre-blog. I had intended to re-read more this year, but my time has been crunched a bit.

    Nomad, I'm glad I'm finally getting around to it. I'm determined to clear off some of these perpetual shelf sitters!

  19. So you're not loving the chickens? Pop 485 remains my favorite...maybe because it was shorter?

  20. Sorry Coop isn't getting along with you so well! I'm really happy that you're loving White Teeth so far though because I'm dying to read that one!! I have my own copy here waiting for me :D


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