Friday, January 29, 2010

Coordinates

We return rested, warmed and sun-kissed.

I was surprised to discover that my two main choices in reading material shared the exact same colour scheme, featuring blue sky and fluffy white clouds somewhere around their middle, and both coordinated rather nicely with my bathing suit.

Spotted on the beach and around the pool: books by Barack Obama, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Marc Lévy (this last both in French and in German), and a few novels bearing that distinctive style of cover art that could signify nothing other than chick lit. The maid would gather literature left behind by guests and leave them by the elevator. I recognized only Fred Vargas (in German translation) among those authors.

I read all of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami, and loved every bit of it. Thank goodness my bookmark serves also as a a calendar so I could mark off the days and was not completely lost in time. I will tell you more about this later. (I considered leaving the Murakami book behind so other guests could enjoy it, but I'm pretty sure I'll be wanting to revisit portions of this book in the years to come.)

I started The Invention of Morel, and after loving page 1, for some reason I thought I really should read the introduction, as well as Jorge Luis Borges' prologue. I'm not sure why I did, because I have indeed learned that this is often a bad idea, as learnèd introductions often contain spoilers, and no matter how erudite they be I'd rather save the expert insight for until after I've had opportunity to make up my own mind, thank you very much. The intro in this case didn't spoil the book, but it did somehow spoil the mood.

So I turned to Ian McEwan's Atonement. I'm not finished yet, but I expect I will be before I get out of bed in the morning. It's not at all what I expected! I don't know why I anticipated something epic, but the first half of the book covers the events of a single household over the course of only a single day. There's no going back now, but I'm not sure I started this book in the proper mindset. It has, however, helped instill and maintain a certain kind of stillness since our return.
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