so because this is a blog, and because i’ve already shared so much of myself here, why not also let you all in on another little quirk of mine: i MUST finish a book once i start it. a few trial pages to see if i like something doesn’t count. but once i’ve decided, “i’m reading this book”, well, i must read the book. cover to cover. even if i get to a point where i don’t want to anymore. then, it actually becomes do or die. for my novel reading self of course. i have it in my head that if i don’t finish the book, i’ll never be able to start another new book ever again. and it’s actually quite motivating. today i finally finished reading señor vivo and the coca lord by louis de bernieres. i’ve been at it for a month now and about a quarter of the way in, i just really didn’t care to hear the end, but i trudged along. why? because i knew i had ordered a few new novels from the book depository (free shipping! to israel even!) and if i never finished reading señor vivo and the coca lord, i would never be able to crack open their spines. somehow the book i’m reading, and how i’m relating to it, has a way of seeping into my everyday life. i read snow flower and the secret fan by lisa see a few months ago and i seriously discussed chinese wedding traditions in my speech at my friend’s engagement party. my friend is not even chinese. so the fact that i was not really enjoying this book and felt beholden to finishing it was really putting a damper on my days. thankfully, the new books finally arrived at the post office this week. the day i got the package notice, my dedication to finishing the book rapidly increased. (i’m sure i’ll write a post someday about the agony of going to the post office in our neighborhood, so i’ll leave that part out for now.) needless to say, i got the new books and shortly thereafter, señor vivo and the coca lord was DONE.
i now have a beautiful stack of new books, just waiting to be read. two which i ordered: flight behavior by barbara kingsolver, and cloud atlas by david mitchell. another lent to me by a friend, the yiddish policemen’s union by michael chabon (i’ve been wanting to read this for so long!). and lastly, a little surprise from my sweet husband who knows how much i love this author and teacher, the beginning of desire: reflections on genesis by avivah gottlieb zornberg. i’m so excited by the sheer volume of new literature that i have to imbibe, but i’d be lying if i said i couldn’t pick which one to start with. it’s flight behavior, no doubt. i am an avid and devoted reader of barbara kingsolver and it was the knowledge of this book’s purchase that forced me to finish señor vivo and the coca lord.
to quote the back of the book jacket, the novel “takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. with a deft and versatile empathy kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world.”
i cannot wait to begin it. new books. new lease on life. it was señor vivo and the coca lord that were holding me back.