Using nonfiction in book groups.
Re-reading a classic: The Three-Martini Playdate.

Summer 2012 fiction bender.

Although memories of summer are becoming increasingly fuzzy (does anyone else feel like summer 2012 was already a million years ago? I blame the election*), I do seem to remember having gone on something of a fiction bender.

Mostly I just re-read a lot of stuff I had around the house, which was kind of relaxing. I plowed through Susan Cooper's first-ish book in her Dark Is Rising series, Over Sea, Under Stone, and it was a lovely read. Just right for summer, although I wished I could have been reading it while actually IN Cornwall. Cooper really does a lovely job with setting; very vivid accounts of a seaside fishing village in Great Britain. And of course now I'm ready for my winter re-reading of Dark is Rising. I like to have my reading ducks in a row like that.

I also plowed through a ton of largely forgettable chick lit novels, because, along with romantic comedies and BBC classics, I really love chick lit on some elemental level. One title that stood out was Jancee Dunn's Don't You Forget about Me, but that was mainly because I love Jancee Dunn (DO read her memoirs But Enough about Me and Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?: And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask).

Larry's Party
by Carol Shields

And, oh, I finally read another Carol Shields novel, titled Larry's Party. I enjoyed the hell out of that. Let's run down Carol's case, shall we? 1. She's considered a Canadian novelist, because she lived most of her life in Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, although she was born in the States. Go Canada! 2. She is perhaps my favorite woman novelist, nearly on a par with Anne Tyler. 3. She writes a really good guy character. And, because I am a married woman with a child, I basically never ever get to talk to men anymore.** It sucks. So spending a novel in the company of an interesting (if sometimes exasperating) male character was a real treat.

I'm pretty sure there are novels I'm forgetting. But you start to get the idea. I did a lot of cheating on nonfiction with fiction this summer. No worries though. I'm back with my true love. I just raced through D.T. Max's biography of David Foster Wallace, and it was GOOD. Ah, nonfiction, you're always there for me.

*I am blaming the election for everything. What will I do with myself on November 7?

**Thank God I had a son. Someday when he grows up, if he forgives me for whatever I'm doing wrong currently, I hope he'll talk to me and I'll have a guy friend again.