The sad truth is that I actually don't read very much. Not books, anyway. I used to read entire issues of National Geographic in one sitting, but novels are a different story. "Readers" in my mind read novels, and I've always struggled with finding fiction interesting. As soon as a plot gets too clean, too fantastical, too predictable, I find myself losing interest.

Because Jared is great, he suggested that we start "couple book club" and read something together. This has been one of my secret romantic dreams, to read a book the same time as a boy, so I was willing to give fiction another chance. He chose "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith.

I was relieved to find that the main character feels the same way I do about fictional plots:

"Growing up spoiled the theater for Francie...she found she was becoming dissatisfied with the way things happened in just the nick of time...Francie couldn't understand why the heroine didn't marry the villain...surely a man who loved her so much that he was willing to go through all kinds of fuss because she wouldn't have him wasn't a man to ignore. At least, he was around while the hero was off on a wild-goose chase."

I identify so much with this book that it makes me a little uneasy to know that Jared has already read it all before me. (He's about 200 pages ahead of me.) It's got me thinking so much, so intensely about aspects of my life that I don't always consider with much depth. I've laughed and cried. I think about it all the time.

I guess this is what I've been missing out on by not "reading."

My enjoyment in reading this book reminded me when I was around 14 years old and Carl had just finished reading "A Separate Peace." He was crying as he read the end of the book and Tom said, "What are you crying for? I think you're crying because you finally finished a book." I remember thinking that it was so mean of him to say that, but maybe he was right. Maybe "readers" are used to viewing their lives from all angles and dealing with the range of emotions that books provoke.


MiriamR said...

I am going to go pick this book up tomorrow. I am pretty excited for it!

mustdestroyalltraces said...

deathworld by harry harrison should be next on your list. 60's sci fi will blow your mind.

whitney joy said...

I love book posts! hey, thanks for the postcard, love your love!

heidikins said...

This is one of my all-time favorite books, I actually led a book club discussion/reading of it in July and I'm so glad you are reading it now!

I can't wait to see how you like it.


mim said...

Glad you are enjoying! Maybe you would like The Shipping News. I'll lend it to you if you like.

c. said...

1. i love this post.
2. suggestions:
a. anything by zora neale hurston
b. what is the what by dave eggers
c. extremely loud and incredibly close by jonathan safran foer
d. short story collections. i have a jillion times more respect for short story writers than for novelists, because they pack so much in so few pages. like this one: http://www.geocities.com/cyber_explorer99/garciamarquezoldman.html
3. hint: i am overly eager to loan out books.

micemilk said...

i just started reading this at the beginning of the month, but stopped so i could read another book (a dumb one) for a monthly club.
i'll call you when i finish it :)