Live a Little

Friday, April 10, 2009

I'm getting really good at reading while doing other things (walking, cooking, cleaning), but I still haven't gotten the hang of reading in the middle of noise and chaos. But I have several opportunities to try today. I had a lot of errands to take care of so I ended up reading all over town; at red lights, while waiting in line at the bank, while carrying in the groceries, at Walgreen's while waiting for my pictures to be done (while also trying to ignore the odd looks I was getting from strangers). What's wrong with those people? They act as if they've never seen a person reading a novel in the middle of a drugstore before.

Today's book; "Two bratty teenagers. One disenchanted husband. Twenty extra pounds. This is the daily existence of Raquel Rose, a California housewife whose life is much less than she thought it would be. Until she receives the shocking news that she's dying, and her world rocks sideways. Her kids stop taking her for granted. Her husband is attentive. And her picture-perfect sister - who has her own talk show - puts Raquel on TV where her story raises truckloads of money for breast cancer research. When her doctor tells Raquel that she's not sick after all (clerical error) she's reluctant to trade in her shiny new life for the jalopy it was before the (mis)diagnosis."

I really tried to see the humor in today's book, and it was obvious that the author was desperately trying to make it seem funny - but I just don't see the humor in letting people think you're dying when you're not. I still enjoyed today's book, in an "I can't wait to see what happens next but I''ll be glad when it's over" kind of way.

I sat down to read today's book vowing that today will not be the fourth day in a row where I mention TV in my blog, and then the author toyed with me by mentioning two of my favorite shows; Dallas and The Golden Girls. Although, it kind of bugged me that she mentioned a storyline from Dallas and then got the details wrong. When the author brought up The Golden Girls I was expecting her to mention the episode where Sophia throws her own wake and Rose forgets to tell the invited guests that Sophia isn't actually dead (I love that episode). What a missed opportunity. But I guess it's only natural that she didn't want to mention that episode, because reminding the readers about it would only make it glaringly obvious how much better (and funnier) the handling of this situation was on The Golden Girls than in this book.

The whole time I was reading this book I kept thinking that I bet this book will be made into a movie sometime in the next few years. It'll be turned into a movie that isn't funny, but is supposed to be, and it's heartwarming but will be sold as the "feel good movie of the year." The images of different actresses kept battling it out in my head; Reese Witherspoon (not wait, that makes no sense, the main character is 43), Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts. I couldn't decide, but I'm sure the movie is coming, and when it does I will be skipping it. I didn't mind reading the book once, but I don't like the main character enough to want to spend anymore time with her. Or as one reviewer put it, "Green's third novel displays a charming, acerbic wit unfortunately employed in the service of an unlikable character."