Most recently I read the book The Secret Lives of People in Love. Yes, it was around Valentine's Day so the title jumped out at me, but it was also a slim book. Lately I have reading a lot of fat tomes that take two months to read. This is not normal for me. To lighten my load for a spell, I headed to my favorite local bookstore, Changing Hands, and searched for slim books. I was thrilled to see that this book was written by Simon Van Booy because I heard about his prose from others and looked forward to reading it. I enjoy reading books of short stories because that is what I tend to write myself. They are these small morsels of surprise that you can savor guiltily in a corner. This book did not disappoint me. Each story was a gift that gave insight into a character's life. He built poignant vignettes that I treasured. He did tend to equate loss with love a little too much to the point where sometimes the stories were slightly moribund. But, I still loved reading them. The prose was tantalizing and melted slowly like a good chocolate on your tongue. I would highly suggest this book to anyone who enjoys thoughtful, sensual writing. My favorite story in the book is The Apple. It is sweet with an endearing character who has experienced a lot of loss, but has paid homage to how that loss has made him grow.
Another book I recently read was My French Whore by Gene Wilder (yes, that Gene Wilder). I was happily surprised at how wonderful it was to read. The timing in the book fit its author -- the right amount of humor, intellect, and even a naive-like romance with a prostitute. Trust me, it is a great read. It takes place during World War I so the brutality of what is going on around the characters rears its head, and in fact, it makes you cling to them for a time.
My current music infatuation is Vampire Weekend. They are band from New York with a Paul Simon sound...a world beat with upbeat melodies. Enjoy!
3 weeks ago