I’m reading a book. I am completely engrossed in it. When I stop reading, I am thinking about the characters, wondering what happens next. It’s not that they are DOING anything exciting. They are living their lives. If you asked me what this book is about, I think I’d be hard-pressed to make it sound like something you should read. It’s about a family of 4 children whose father dies suddenly when they, and he, are quite young, and about how they grow up and who they become.
I’m reading the book much too quickly, I know. I can see the parts where I should slow down and savor the words, but I can’t. I want to go back and be with them and know what happens. I’m hoping for a resolution. Mysteries have resolutions. Do lives have resolutions? That’s probably a question I should stop and ponder. The book has many lines that are worth pondering. I’m so impatient. I may have to go back and read parts of this again, because I’m sure there is more here than I’m getting on the first read.
I have forced myself away from the book at this point because there are things I need to do in my tangible world, and I really need to pull my attention out of my head and into something else. And that is ANOTHER reason why I know I should be slowing down. As I thought about how intensely I’m experiencing this story, I began to write this post. When I thought about how I’d describe it, I realized that it could be a story about my mother. My mother’s father died when she and he were both very young. I don’t think she ever recovered emotionally from that. I had a flash of – not insight – but more shift of perspective about my mother. Although I’ve always felt I understood what happened to her, and how it impacted her, I shifted and thought of her as a ‘story’. It changes nothing, really, except for making her childhood and her pain and the damage more intense because it distanced it from me. It wasn’t about ME anymore but about this third party, this other, and while it didn’t change a lot, I think I maybe should use this perspective sometimes to understand how death in one generation ripples on and on and on. I knew that too. I don’t think I’m doing a good job of explaining why it feels like a shift of perspective and understanding to see my mother as not my mother but as a character in a story. We react differently to constructs than we do to the flesh-and-blood parts of our lives.
I don’t know how close to the end I am because I’m using a new kind of book reader. I’m using something called “Bookshout”. It does have an app but you can also read the book via a web browser and that’s how I’ve been reading the book. On an app you can see the number of pages, % left in the book, and other such information. The web browser gives me the number of pages in the current chapter and that is it. Have you noticed that I have not yet NAMED this book? That’s because although I’m completely engrossed in it, I have no idea what it is called. The web browser does not display the name anywhere on the screen. *grin* So although I know I knew the name when I ordered it, I had long since forgotten it when I started writing this. *laughing* I had to go look it up on my order.
I wrote this post in what felt like a headlong rush, all in one breath. I’ve been on my reading hiatus now for several hours. I suspect that when I go back, I will again be totally bound by the words. I think I don’t even care anymore how it ends. I think that even if the ending somehow manages to disappoint me (which I do not believe will be the case), this book is still a fantastic read. I want to have it in paper form. I want to pick up this book in my hands, let it fall open anywhere and start reading it again. I want to hold it and feel it and look at the print while I think about what they are saying and feeling.
I guess what I’m saying is that I recommend this book, The Last Romantics, by Tara Conklin. 🙂
6 thoughts on “This Might Be a Book Review”
I guess i’ll have to read it, too
. But meanwhile i’m pondering this: ” Do lives have resolutions?” And in the throes of March Madness and my Spartans going to the Final Four, i want to say that SOMETIMES lives have resolutions. You can come to certain resolution of a certain reality at a certain point in your life. For some people it might be the end of their lives, but i think you can reach “a point” in the middle where a certain arc of your story resolves. My case in point would be one particular member of the Spartans team. I won’t detail it here, let me know if you are interested. But i see his life, in this one liminal spot BEFORE the Final Four game, as having come to a perfect “resolution”. Whatever happens from now on will be picking up the story again with a new arc. Soap operas do this all the time, but you don’t usually see it for someone ELSE in real life. Oh! I just saw one for myself as well. So yes, i think the answer to your question is “yes,” lives do have resolutions.
Something else to ponder: why do my comments to your blog always post with strike-through lines? LOL!
I checked to make sure that book is on my TBR, and it was, so I went ahead and put a hold on an ebook via Overdrive.
I use the Kindle Cloud Reader app and discovered that if I move the mouse around to certain areas I can see the book title and information such as number of pages / % left. At first I thought it was all missing until one day I bumped the mouse and it popped up.
Anyway, this book sounds like the kind of book I like so I’m looking forward to reading it when it becomes available!
I’m sure you are correct about being able to see more via the web browser than I’ve managed so far. Normally I’d just download a book to my iPad. This was a free offering via my WSJ subscription and they use Bookshout. I thought I’d see how reading via a browser rather than a mobile app would work for me. It’s actually a great fit as I spend a lot of my time on my laptop.
Do let me know if you enjoy the book. *grin* Maybe you’ll be able to give a better review.
I wonder that as well, although it’s not quite up to ponder-level yet. 🙂 Are you striking some special key at some point when you are typing? I wonder if you typed elsewhere and pasted in the comment area if you’d still trigger the strike-outs.
As you can tell, I really like it. I’m avoiding going back to finish it because I’m in that delicious state where it is still happening (kind of like Schrodinger’s cat – I’m neither reading nor not reading but I’m there in that space). It’s funny, but even after all these years, I’m not sure I can accurately guess what books you will or will not like.
I think you are correct about lives having arcs that have resolution. I think books give us an arc. You know it’s a good book/captivating read when the book is over and yet you want to know what happens next in the lives of the characters. (Unless of course their end of life and end of book coincide.)
As I wrote – there is so much material that is worth pondering. Maybe we need to start a Ponder club.