Wednesday, October 22, 2008

elongated aquariums

I left my book on the plane last week. “Astonishing Splashes of Color.” Nicole recommended it, and I wouldn’t have pursued the book but it was at the register of a store I was at in NJ for some crazy price like $2.49, so I said what the hell. I got to p. 135 then put it under the seat in front of me before nodding off, only to leave the plane next morning without it. It wasn’t bad. It was getting good, and I hoped it would show up somewhere. It didn’t.

So I went to a bookstore with a decent selection in English. I figured “Astonishing Splashes” would be stocked since it was short-listed for the Booker prize, but it wasn't. Not that I wanted to buy the book again. I considered it. But more likely I would have read it on a chair in the store. Anyway, the point was moot. The author’s last name is Morrell, and there I was, dead-suspended at the M shelf wondering what the hell to do with my life. (I am reading a book of short stories, but I don't count that. Unfair, I know. Escapes, by Joy Williams. Very Good.)

A woman next to me was looking into Ian McEwan, but I’ve read all the McEwan I ever want to read (Cement Garden, Comfort of Strangers, Black Dogs, Amsterdam, Saturday, First Love, Last Rites), and I was just talking to a friend the other day about the dead end of him. There was a long line of Haruki Murakami books, whom I do want to read but feared I might not be prepared for. A few shelves higher was Cormac McCarthy. Since seeing No Country for Old Men I have considered reading that. The store had it but the cover was one of those Hollywood covers with a still from the movie. I hate that. So I looked at The Road. Of the Murakami, I looked at The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore. I kept rotating the McCarthy and the two Murakimis in my hands until it occurred to me I’d better decide, then go home to make dinner. But I couldn’t decide. So I got them all. May they be marvelous.

foto: sabine rothe


Anonymous said...

Murakami is an excellent choice - Wind Up Bird Chronicles is a good start.

Anonymous said...

sorry you lost your book. would you like mine? i don't think you liked it as much as i. did you ever finish the swimmer? now, that's the book to end all books. really. you're my reading heroine.

SarahJane said...

nicole - i did like it, and i was expecting it to get better. i've told my mom where i got it cheap, and she's going to see if there's another one. but you're sweet for offering. if i lived in the states i would definitely be on goodreads swapping books. i have so many books I'm not attached to and could give away or swap.
i haven't finished the swimmer yet. i found the german a bit of a challenge, but i will eventually try again. i just finished cormac mccarthy's "The Road," and am chilling out for a day or two before going on to the next book. whatever it is. thanks!

Anonymous said...

oh, we could mos def make arrangments for the internationale clientele, m'dear. yes, it (ASOC) does get better. or, maybe not--maybe i liked the first 2/3 better than the last 1/3. as for the swimmer--maybe you should try the translation. i'd love to read the original, but i find the language so mesmerizing in anglais. oh, and i love the triscuit post above. yes, they are a TAD bit salty--do i smell a triscuit poem. alas, i no longer buy them because of their salty coupled with nauseating RR pix on the boxes. yum-NO!
i have to say, though, they are tasty with trout dip--yumMO!

SarahJane said...

nicole -
Agent M has located ASOC, and will be posting it to me!
as to The Swimmer, I could continue in German, but I really prefer reading in my native language, plain old wild american.

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