Monday, October 05, 2009

"We're plastic but we still have fun!"*

Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year, and while I don’t really know the Pulitzer like I do the Booker, it sounds impressive enough, yes? (The Road, Lonesome Dove, and Middlesex also won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, but then again, so did March. Y-A-W-N.) Olive Kitteridge was a great little book – it reminded me on one hand of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio (which I believe I mentioned before) which I started to reread while in WV; OK was a much more subtle, even devious novel than OK -- but the premise is almost identical.

Once I finished OK, I recalled that I had read Strout’s Amy and Isabelle, and that it had surprised me by not being some sort of Jodi Picoult/Anita Shreve/Oprah Book Club novel and instead was a slow-moving but nicely written novel that I enjoyed very much -- but also don’t recall much about.

Strout has a book there in the middle, called Abide with Me, which I promptly ordered form Amazon in a book buying frenzy: “It’s only ONE CENT!” Never mind that shipping is 4 dollars, the book was only one cent! I am almost finished with it, and it has that same deceptively slow-moving plotting and backwards character development that OK has; in other words, you’re reading along, lulled by some quiet, almost morose storytelling when WHAM! some simple detail is dropped into the story oh so casually, and it blows up the whole story in your face. So then you readreadread, to see what else is going to happen next ohmygod….wash, rinse, repeat (but in a good way).

In other words, Elizabeth Strout should hurry up and write another book; I want to know what’s she going to come up with next.

In the meantime, I have the newest Audrey Niffenegger on my nightstand, which I hope to finish before AS Byatt’s The Children’s Book FINALLY comes out in the States on October 6. Which is, holy crap, TOMORROW. Ok, so that’s not gonna happen, I guess. The reading, not the release. I wonder if I can manage a trip to both the library and the bookstore tomorrow…there are books on hold at the library that I must pick up, if they haven’t already been shipped back from whence they came…and even if I can’t read The Children’s Book right away, I need to hold it in my hot little hands and be able to stare lovingly at it sitting on my bookshelf.

*"Paparazzi," Lady Gaga. It is to my possibly everlasting shame that I discover this song which I have grown increasingly fond of, is by the dubious Lady Gaga. I blame my newfound horrible taste in music (Pitbull, anyone?) on zumba.


Anonymous said...

I need the new Byatt too, but it's going to have to wait a while. You'll have to tell me how it is.

I love that Pitbull song! :-)

Caro said...

I very ashamedly confess to liking the Pitbull song. LOL

Eleanor said...

No bloody way!!

I LOVE that Paparazzi song, ADORE it, have never admitted it to anyone. I daydream about having it in the soundtrack of the fantasy film which I write in my...ummm...fantasies.

Please don't tell anyone though. Ahem.

Kristin said...

Thanks for the Calpurnia Tate recommendation--so far I love it!

Amelia Plum said...

what other music are they playing in zumba aside from lady gaga? i haven't heard the paparazzi or pitbull songs. i'm losing out in life! i got my long awaited lorrie moore (11 years! ) novel a couple weeks ago and am only on page 50. I'm disappointed with it, such an awful feeling with an author I loved so much, maybe it's me or my age or the children but I just can't get into the book.