The Girl in the Photograph

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's time for the end of the week count.

For the week -


PAGES: 2,064

For the year so far -


PAGES: 76,034

Today's book, "Stand-up comic and semi-lapsed Catholic Allegra O'Riordan now has another identity: orphan. Motherless since age three, she has just buried her father as well - fearing that with this loss, she's also forfeited any hope of knowing the history of her tight-lipped Irish family. Resigned, she sifts through her father's belongings . . . and finds a picture that will change her life. In this picture, her mother - until now just a dim memory of a solemn, melancholy woman - is someone she barely recognizes. She is younger, of course - but there is something else. The bathing suit. The bold, seductive smile. And the mysterious inscription: "darling Ted" . . . yearning to know more, Allegra begins to seek out distant relatives, strangers, old friends of her mother. She wants to understand who this flirtatious young beauty really was - and what it was that changed her. But looking too closely at the girl in the photograph may forever alter the way she sees the girl in the mirror . . . "

Shallow thoughts:

  • I have no idea why book descriptions so often end with . . . Is it supposed to make us more likely to read the book? Because it didn't work with me. In fact, today's book was yet another book from my to-read stack that I have no memory of even buying, and I feel pretty certain that I didn't even bother reading the book description all the way through (because I'm an impulse book buyer.) Which leads me to survey time again: Tell me dear readers: Does . . . make you more likely to want to read a book? And, question # 2, what was the last impulse book buy? Or are you the kind of stable, mature reader who actually reads the entire book description before buying a book?

  • It took quite awhile for me to get into today's book. I found the beginning rather dull, and only kept reading because I had already posted the book for the day on Twitter. I briefly contemplated deleting that tweet and hoping that none of my dear readers would notice, but somehow that just felt shady. But just for future reference, if I ever did want to switch to a different book after posting it on Twitter would anyone notice (not that I would ever do anything as underhanded as that.) I did eventually start to enjoy the book more, but if I hadn't been working on this project there's no way I would have ever finished the book. I think I like the idea of the book more than the actual book.

  • Favorite sentence, "She was not a vain woman, but she spent much time looking into the mirror, practicing routines, or simply talking to her own reflection." - This sentence speaks to me more than I should admit (especially publicly.) It's as if the author is describing me (except for that part about not being vain, because I'm definitely vain and I'm not ashamed to admit it.) This entry could go up at least an hour earlier every day if I cut out my daily mirror time, which takes up so much time during the day that it could qualify as a hobby. Which often makes me think of how I always have a hard time believing that people are being honest about their hobbies. Every time I hear someone talk about their hobbies, it's always a nice, normal, sane list of: knitting, golfing, reading, etc. But I can't be the only person in the world who has a list of hobbies that reads like: looking up wedding and baby registries of people I don't even know (I don't know why that's fun, but it just is), looking at myself in the mirror, playing literary family (in which I try to figure out which characters in literature most closely resemble my family members), making pointless lists (such as: stuff I should already know by now, but for some reason don't.) So dear readers, if you aren't already on question overload from the ones I've already asked, I want to know about your real hobbies. Come on, don't be shy, you can't possible say anything that would make you look worse than me admitting that I spend so much time looking at myself that it could qualify as a hobby.