Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thankful for books

Especially really good books. I'm feeling especially grateful for these because I've been reading a book that I'm going to give up on. Reluctantly, because it is for my Book Club and I feel I owe it to the person who chose it to at least finish it for the discussion.

I don't like to do book reviews that are negative. For one thing, I have a lot of respect for people who are disciplined and dedicated enough to write a book and get it published. Surely, there are people who think it worthwhile, even if it's not my cup of tea.

The Beautiful Catastrophe of Wind by Roger Theodoredis, is my book club selection this month. The member that chose it is very thoughtful about her selections, is a voracious reader and always has two or three books going. I'm curious as to what she saw in this one.

A synopsis: The book takes place in the godforsaken town of Black Rock Mesa where the wind blows incessantly. And, lest we forget, we're reminded of it every.single.paragraph. The.wind.is.blowing.Still.blowing.Blowing.some.more. The characters are a bunch of misfits that end up here for a variety of reasons. The first residents come seeking gold, but evenutally discover that the area is rich with slate. So, they mine slate. Other than a fire-and-brimstone preacher, most of them don't have a lot to say.

For me, BCOW is painful to read. It reminds me of being in a math class, which is excruciating for me, and the teacher keeps saying, let's do one more equation, and my head pounds and I want to cry. It's like being forced to watch paint dry.

The story takes me back to the month I spent one weekend camping in southeastern Utah. The wind never stopped. We would wake up in the morning with our faces -- the only exposed part of our bodies -- coated with fine, red sand. Years, later, we are still finding traces of it in our camping gear.

Last night, after reading this book for about an hour, I went to bed and all I could think of was the dry, barren, windblown landscape. I tossed and turned, and finally got up, grabbed a Nora Roberts book and read for an hour, to wash out the sand. Finally, at long last, the wind died down and I slept.

Today, I am thankful for books. For books I love and even for books I don't so much like.

7 comments:

Joanne said...

That's a tough one. I don't like to give up on a book, and do so with reluctance. But when I get to a certain point, then give it a few more chances and still nothing, I close the book. It's bound to happen, I guess the same way it does with a song, or painting. They all appeal to a wide audience, but not always the part we're in.

Paula said...

Hello, Karen. I know exactly what you mean about giving up on a book. I hate to do that, but I have had to lay several aside over the years. It's rare that I can't finish one, but there have been some that I just can't go back to. Anyway, I am thankful for books, too. Good ones. Short ones. Long ones. Complicated ones. Short reads. Compilations and short stories. Any form. Any subject. My house looks like a used book store. And although we have a library, we have so many books that they spill into every room into the house...on table tops, stacked in corners to look a little decorative, on fireplace mantels, etc. Ah, my sweet books.

I have been considering starting a book group, and I am anxious to explore that. I have always wanted to do it but this will be the first winter that I have had in forever with the time to do so. This may be the year!

Have a nice Tuesday, Karen!

Blessings,
Paula

Leah in Iowa said...

I'm sorry, but I'm laughing just a little. Probably because I've been in the same position before! Hope you stay out of the wind and sand! =)

Country Dreaming said...

I don't usually give up on many books either but sometimes there is no reason to go on.
Which Nora Roberts did you read?
I just finished Vision in White
and am ready for the second one in this series Bed of Roses. The first one was wonderful and can't waot to start the second.

Melinda

diana said...

i hear ya. i hate when i've started a book that i just don't like and don't think i can get through. it really makes me sad. i've only done it a handful of times. i've also read whole books that i really didn't care for.

i, too, am thankful for books.

RIZZI said...

HI KAREN,
I GIVE YOU A LOT OF CREDIT FOR STICKING TO YOUR GUNS, WHEN YOU SAY YOU WILL FINISH THE BOOK, EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT. I HOPE YOUR READING GROUP MEMBER DOESN'T READ YOUR BLOG. HAVE A GOOD DAY.
LOVE, AUNT RIZ

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Ooh, I have never been able to give up on a book. Well, maybe one or two at most. That's such a bad thing, because it's your book club pick. But everyone is different and just because some others liked or loved it, doesn't mean it will affect you the same. That's one of the wonderful things about books :)

Hope the next one you read is much more enjoyable!