How is it that I've never read John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany? I've read other Irving, and loved most of it (I have a thing about lost limbs and Irving seems, at times, to taunt me with this), but I'd somehow missed this heartbreaking and beautiful masterpiece. And I'm only halfway through it!
I've been trolling around the Goodreads.com website, which is how I came to discover that A Prayer for Owen Meany was one of the 1001 books I should read before I die, or something like that. There were at least a hundred books on the list that I'd never even heard of, never mind read. (did I mention I used to own a bookstore?) Sometimes I think people are making up titles. That said, there are gaps in my reading I intend to fill. What should be next? War and Peace? Virginia Wolfe? I know, I know. I'm working on it.
This past week I also polished off Deborah Crombie's Where Memories Lie. Sometimes, when you're waiting around in a hospital as I was, you need something easy on the brain, which this was. Plus, unlike a lot of literature I love, these light mysteries don't send my emotions ping-ponging all over the place. It's a solid mystery with developed characters, a sense of place, and an interesting plot. I once read an interview with Joyce Carol Oates, whom I deeply admire, in which she said she never has a wasted moment. Meaning she never watches bad TV, or reads anything fluffy. I do wish I could be that disciplined (I also wish I could resist sweets and bread) but honestly, sometimes I just need to give myself a break. Sometimes I need to watch awful TV, and read for the pure pleasure of the story, and put on the radio and dance around to songs about brushing teeth with a bottle of Jack.
Balance, I say. That's what I'm aiming for!