I’m alive! (Books 7/13/06)

I’ve been AWOL but with good reason: a new baby takes up a lot of time! But today the white noise sound of the carpets being cleaned has soothed the savage Zoe monster to sleep, and I have a minute to type. (She really is a sweet girl, and only screams when somethinig is wrong- although exactly what’s wrong isn’t always clear to anyone other than her.)

For a couple weeks after her birth I didn’t get any reading in whatsoever, but I’ve managed to do a little in the last week. Here’s what I’ve read in little chunks while feeding the Zo.

The Book of Lost Books by Stuart Kelly. My mom told me about this book after hearing about it on the radio. It sounded exceptionally cool- a book all about the books that have been lost to us- either because the author never finished them, or in the possible case of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor Won, because no more copies exist (if they ever did). Unfortunately, while it sounded super cool in theory, in actual application it wasn’t so intriguing. I reallly didn’t care about a lot of the authors covered, and most of the “lost” books fell in the category of never finished rather than once existed and now mysteriously are gone. I can’t really blame Kelly for writing a different book than the one I wanted to read, I just wish someone would write that book now.

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. I actually started reading this in the week before Zoe was born, then got distracted, so finshed it only a couple days ago. Perhaps it’s a strange book to read while anticipating a new baby, but I really enjoyed it. I’ve never seen the film, (although I love Mia Farrow’s hair in it), but knew the main premise. It’s really well written and suspenseful, (even knowing what’s going on), and the shock ending is fantastic. If it were written today I think everything would have been left vague- it wouldn’t have been stated for certain if Rosemary was right and evil people had designs on her child, or if she was suffering from some kind of pre-partum psychosis. That would make for a really creepy story, because everything she’s experiencing and figuring out is so real; what if we weren’t certain if it just all in her head? Anyway, I really liked it, and now I want to watch the film to see how it measures up.

Dean and Me: A Love Story by Jerry Lewis. I’ve wanted to read this since I read Where the Truth Lies by Rupert Holmes, to see how much he actually drew from the story of Martin and Lewis and how much was just from their legend. Apparently quite a lot was from their actual life. This is a great memoir of a really interesting time, but what makes it sing is Lewis’ focus on his partnership with Dean Martin. He could have veered off into so many tangents at so many points, but everything he writes about is grounded by how it fit into his relationship with Dean. It truly is a love story, they shared a connection that was unique and very special. They also shared a fame, the scope of which I had never really realized. I’d like to read more about both of them now, as this memoir has fleshed both of them out for me– showing Jerry as more than the monkey, and Dean as far, far more than the stoic straight man.

Now I’m reading The Tea-Olive Bird Watching Society by Augusta Trobaugh, which is interesting but not captivating yet. I’ll probably go out to the library today while the carpets are drying, so it’s entirely possible that I’ll find a new book to take it’s place. We’ll just have to see.

Current total: 54

Just finished: Dean and Me: A Love Story by Jerry Lewis

Currently Reading: The Tea-Olive Bird Watching Society by Augusta Trobaugh

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