I am trying to carve out some time for myself to do some reading, movie watching and music listening, but it is very difficult to manage with a new baby in town. In the last week, I have tried a new bedtime routine where I lay down to nurse while reading until she goes to sleep. It usually takes her awhile to tell long stories and sing songs to my chest and to eat her feet before she dozes off, so I am able to actually read. She is very distracted by trying to crumple up all the pages of my book and take off my glasses repeatedly, but it's better than nothing, which is what I have been reading for the past six months since she's been born.
And if there was ever a time to work out a way to read, it is now. Today I picked up Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow. I got to meet Doctorow a couple years ago, and I think he'd just started writing this novel. As he described his writing process to a small conference room full of upper school students, I got really excited because I a) adore Doctorow and b) have loved the story of the pack rat apartment tragedy since I was very young. My grandparents' house did not have a trash can in it, ever. Yes, you read correctly. Nothing was thrown away. My granny washed and reused everything in a variety of totally insane ways. When she died, I finally checked out her closet which was lined with about two hundred layers of newspaper clippings, milk jug labels, family photos and church social flyers. We won't talk about the jars of fingernails and cut-off braids. My grandpa did his best to sneak things out of the house, but granny's mental problems definitely ruled the roost. So I am ready to read Doctorow's take on a real pack rat's mind and see how it compares to my impressions of my granny.
Then I am very excited for two more books: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger because The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my favorite books ever, and The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. I first read Atwood in the 10th grade because my English teacher told me that I wrote like her in the margins of one of my papers. I don't, but I'm sure glad he wrote that anyway because she was and continues to be a wonderful discovery. John Irving has a new one out too, but I'll probably wait for that one. His last few haven't really done it for me.
So here's to happy, long-anticipated reading!!! Hopefully the babe is down with my new plan.
Note: I have no issue with D.B. and will probably read his book once I can pick it up for 50 cents at the Goodwill.