It's New York Times Notables time!
Take that, The Help.

Behind the magic that is Citizen Reader.*

Normally when I talk about books here, I do try to put my thoughts in some sort of coherent order. When I had more time on my hands, this was a lot easier--not only because I had more time to write in general, but also because I could do so in a more timely manner. Lately, I keep coming up against the Overdue Wall--even when I have books laying around for three four-week loan periods (almost three months, which is REALLY long enough for anyone to keep a book from the library), I still don't get them read and then written about before they have to go back to the library. This just happened to me with Pat Conroy's quite interesting book-about-books, titled My Reading Life. I read this one over the course of two months or so, and then left it around for a month thinking I would write about it here, and then, boom, it's overdue and I had to take it back.

My Reading Life
by Pat Conroy

So what I do lately is type a few brief notes about the books into my blog software (so I can take them back to the library), and then later I come back and try to make sense out of them. But today I'm even running out of time** to form the notes into coherence, so I thought I'd just let you see my initial jottings about it, which are below. If I ever get more organized I promise this sort of slapdash blogging will stop.

Here's the jottings:

Too sappy and sentimental for me, but he's sappy about books and reading, which I can forgive.

At least talks about all aspects of books and reading--being introduced to books by his mother and some favorite teachers; teaching books; writing books; selling books.

Was kind of a nice comforting read to dip into at night--not real challenging.

Am not interested in his fiction (Prince of Tides, etc.)--will probably be too sentimental, too Southern, neither of which appeal to me?

p. 84: "I grew up a word-haunted boy. I felt words inside me and stored them wondrous as pearls. I mouthed them and fingered them and rolled them around my tongue. My mother filled my bedtime hour with poetry that rang like Sanctus bells as she praised the ineffable loveliness of the English language with her Georgia-scented voice. I found that hive of words beautiful beyond all conveyance." Now that's a little much for me, taken all at once, but read chapter by chapter it was actually a little something different.

Now, if you'd like to read an actual review of this book, this might be more helpful to you.

*This title, obviously, is meant ironically.

**And I'm really not a very busy person. How do people with multiple jobs and multiple kids and houses they actually clean and health problems and god knows what else do it?