Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September is evidently the month Juniper blogs about gender

Lately, I cant read books about boys.
Or men.
I've really tried.

Remember that Leif Enger book we all loved so much, what was it called? Oh yeah, Peace Like a River. Loved it years ago, because the preacher turned out to be one of the good guys (THAT never happens). So, I waited and waited to get his new one at the library, which I suddenly cant remember the name of now either, and I just could not get into it at. all. I finally skipped to the end to make sure he makes it up to his wife for taking off like that, and then gave it up.

Then I tried Monkey Dancing, which is a travel book about a newly single dad taking his 2 pre-teen kids around the world. It reminds me of Anne Lamott's advice (which is not heeded) that if you're going to write about your kids, make sure to make it about the stuff that you, the parent, have messed up more than about them. I about died from embarrassment for the author's son, whose every youthful crush and experimentation is excrutiatingly detailed, before I gave that one up too.

A couple days ago I tried to read Everything Is Illuminated. Loved the movie, but sort of cant understand the book. I felt too old for it. Or something. So gave that one up, too.

I have a copy of Cold Mountain lying around that I havent read yet, but last time I started it I just couldnt get past the flies crawling around in the open wounds on the first page. It's not books BY men that are giving me this block (I just finished a very satisfyingly silly Alexander McCall Smith), only books about them. Maybe I should go back to Dickens. I remember reading David Copperfield with my heart in my throat the whole time.

Or, if you have any ideas, to help me bridge the literary gender gap, feel free to leave a comment.


Songbird said...

I loved "Peace Like a River!" "Cold Mountain" is beautifully written, but very tough material. I can't decide whether I'm glad I read it. I'm currently reading "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle," which is great.

Juniper said...

thanks for the tip! I put edgar sawtelle on my wish list.