1 point x 2
Read 2 “C” books so far this month, one by a new author: J. California Cooper. The author of 17 plays, she was named Black Playwright of the Year in 1978. Encouraged by author Alice Walker to try her hand at fiction, she has since wrote several collections of short stories and novels. I read Some Love, Some Pain, Some Time: Stories and enjoyed her trademark style of sympathetic yet often troubled characters who offer inspiration and insight into the common themes of love and life. The stories are all very similar so it’s a book that’s best read over time unless you’re in desperate need of the company of women who are discovering life’s lessons the hard way. The other C book was 700 Sundays by Billy Crystal. This is a short memoir by the famous comic about the 700 Sundays he spent with his father, who died when Billy was 15. Found out a whole lot about his early years and the music and comedy that influenced his life. Didn’t hurt that I can totally relate to his background – even his Long Island routes.
Started another C book for one of my book clubs, but did not finish it: Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin. Everyone I talk to loves this book, but I wasn’t compelled to keep reading. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood…maybe I had no patience to read of hardships because this is often the time of year when I feel just a wee bit down. However, when I told a friend I wasn’t enjoying the book, she told me a few reasons why she loved it, so I went back to it with a more open mind. The funny thing was that I began to enjoy the book more, which made me think of how many times our mood or circumstances close us off to new people or experiences. That person you met yesterday who annoyed you (because you were in a lousy mood) – would you perhaps like her better had you met her another day? The online Friday Morning Bookclub post today was: do you give up on books? My answer was yes – most of the time I do it without a second thought. But every now and then, that lingering doubt remains.
That’s an interesting thought about giving up on books, although most of the time whether I give up on a book is not affected by my mood. I have over 180 books on my “to read” list; if I don’t give up on some of them when I don’t feel a connection I’ll never read everything I want to read.
My C book is by Carolyn Parkhurst (and I still feel a tad guilty using Carolyn for my C; I’ll let you have that point though but I stop at allowing Cafe to be a C). The book was the Nobodies Album and was my favorite for the year. It’s several books within a book and for the first time since grade school I actually wrote to an author! (next week I’ll ask my boyfriend for his letter jacket)
I’m in the middle of a Carolyn Parkhurst book as well – Lost and Found. I have read Nobodies Album and also loved it. I did not write to the author but I am going to write to a columnist in a day or two. I’ll be looking for that letter jacket on you soon.