new books.

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.

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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.

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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.

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2 responses

  1. School is my Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord. I can’t truly enjoy a leisurely read during the school year as I have so much other reading to do. But winter, spring, and summer breaks find me with my nose in a book, oblivious to all else I need to get done. In summer I’m in a rocking chair on my screened in back porch with the chatter of early morning birds. Ah, I’m longing for a break now… Happy reading, Emily!

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