The Long Weekend

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today's book, "New York, 1961. A group of old friends, who knew each other during the war, are reunited. They are all, in their different ways, involved in the arts. But when the Hollywood big-shot turns up, full of his success, the others start to ponder what they've accomplished or haven't."

Shallow thoughts (which I wasn't going to do today, but I've been left with no choice because the paragraphs in this entry refuse to separate no matter how many times I hit the space bar, and I have no idea how to fix it):
  • Today I slipped a little in my experiment with having standards - and I paid the price all day. I picked the book based on the cover - it seems I will never learn my lesson with that one - and the title, which made me think of the affectionate parody of The Long Winter that my sister and I wrote about a decade ago, during a blizzard. The Long Weekend was a harrowing tale of a family snowed in for so long that they had to break down and eat the low-fat Ritz crackers after running out of the real junk food. It was raw. . . it was gritty . . . it was real. It was also the reason why my Brother spent most of the weekend making fun of us - but we had a good time just the same. If you have to get snowed in, it's always nice to be snowed in with people who have good imaginations, and a battery operated TV.
  • I had a lot more fun writing that story than I did reading today's book. I struggled all day to try to connect to the characters, the plot, the time period - anything - and I couldn't manage it. I find my inability to connect to the time period the most disappointing aspect of all because part of the book took place in the 1940s, and I usually have no problem whatsoever getting swept up into any story that takes place then. In short - although it might actually be too late for that - I spent the whole day thinking Who cares?
  • There really weren't any passages that stood out - and by stood out I mean, passages that didn't bore me to tears - but I did enjoy the sentiment behind the passage that described the library as one of the characters' "second home." I wouldn't go quite that far with the library - although the librarians have become my patsies lately (and I mean that in the nicest possible way). I walk in and they start pulling my reserved books out of the basket that has my name on it and getting them lined up, opened, and ready to check out. Sometimes they're even doing that while I'm still walking in from the parking lot. I've already begun to write my thank yous to them in the book (is that weird?) : To my local librarians, who never complain about the extra work they have to do when collecting my reserved books, not even when I have more than 50 books checked out at a time. My record for most books checked out is 53, just in case you were on the edge of your seat wondering. I'm kind of tempted to see just how far I can push this before they're going to try to stop me. Would they be forced to stage an intervention if I got up to 60? Which brings me back to my personal motto: At least I don't drink.