Betty Duffy

(Amateur)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

How to Get Through This Afternoon?

I need a good book to read. I had a writing prof once who asked the class what we would pass up anything else to read or watch on tv. The question was designed to help us pinpoint what makes a narrative addictive--something we can't put down. I had admitted earlier in the class that I could at times read some piece of chick lit in a day's time--so he sort of assumed that's what it was for me. In reality, it's not that cut and dry. I read in proportion to need--how badly do I need an escape? At this point in this particular week, I need it badly. I don't even need a narrative, I get distracted by a book of coupons. God help my children, because their mother is not at home. She has checked out. And I'm always looking for the sweet deal--when will I happen upon the rare thing of beauty that makes the reality I'm sacrificing for it a fair deal? I need that triple chocolate layer cake that is so good, it would be a sin to pass up. Suggestions?

And I don't want the suggestion that I need to look at my kids a little more. I have been in this house with them for eight years. I love them, and they are a delight to me, but I am bored with their story for today.

And where do I get sentences like, "My children are a delight?" It's a sentence I feel like I should say, but it is not quite accurate. More like, the kids are igniting in me a deep sense of inadequacy and guilt at my constant failings. The kids are beautiful in appearance and wildly unmanageable in temperament. I love them with a dangerous and protective passion, but I am exhausted by their requirements and they are not my favorite labor. But 'tis motherhood. The kids aren't going away any time soon, and neither am I--nor do I want to. I just want a good book to read. PLEASE.

Signed,
Not Bitter, Just Tired

13 comments:

Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

Have you already read A Girl Named Zippy or She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel? (They're old, so you prob have.) I am reading the latter, which is a sequel, or at least was written second, and I assume the first is very much alike, and I already have it and will start it directly upon finishing the first (second) one. Anyway, not heavy stuff at all, but I laugh out loud once every page and a half. I'm enjoying it, and ignored my needy son over it yesterday.

Kate said...

Just re-read your post and it sounds like you're looking for some truly good lit... that's not it.

Kate said...

Sorry you're going to see you have 3 (4 now) comments and then they're all me.

Betty Duffy said...

I'm always looking for truly good lit, but lately, I haven't even found much that holds my attention past the first five pages. I'll take what I can get as long as it's interesting. They can't all be Kristins. "She Got Up Off the Couch" sounds promising, and like something I need to do.

swaying mama said...

Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos.
A romance, life story that had me crying repeatedly. It's what i neglected my kids and house and kids i was babysitting for on Friday for. I get the escape need, even though i only have two lovely children.

My problem with reading fluff is, I enjoy it while i'm reading but then i feel guilty afterwards. i feel like it was wasted time, like it was equivalent to watching a soap opera. And I am not a good mother while engrossed in a book, i'm just not. AND i remember my mother doing the same thing, and me saying repeatedly: mom, mom, mom, mom, mom to get her attention and failing. when it is more historical fiction and i feel i am learning something about another culture, then i feel a little better!

but read on, i think anything it takes to keep sanity when caring for small children is a blessing and should be embraced. happy escape, elizabeth!

rachael

Emily said...

Here's the mix I have going: Plan B: Thoughts on Faith by Annie Lamott, Letters to a Young Catholic by George Weigel (contrast), Eats Shoots and Leaves (LOVE it), Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco (slowgoing, loved Name of the Rose), and I'm about to start Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie for a book club and I'm really excited about it. Nothing has topped Lizzie's War for me this summer, so I finally put the Monk Downstairs on hold at the library. But I did like Elizabeth Goudge's Scent of Water about a 50ish business woman who leaves her successful London career to go live in a small English countryside cottage where she recovers her zest for life. Written in 1963, it sounds like menopause art, but seemed more universal when I read it. Then again, I am too old for young adult activities now, so maybe I'm starting to like menopausal themes.

Emily said...

Kate, isn't A Girl Named Zippy someone from Indiana?

Emily said...

My neighbor said her chick lit loving friends recommended books called "Just Do It" by Annie and Doug Brown and "365 Nights" by Charla and Brad Muller. But warning, not practical with NFP! What would that title be called: "175 nights"? By the way, love Sr. Mary Martha's web page. Should you send in a photo of Sr. AC for the beautiful nun contest?

Elizabeth said...

well, my book is totally different and very engaging. "Candy Girl (A year in the life of an unlikely stipper.)" by Diablo Cody. I neede a book last week, this one came to me, I laughed so hard, lines like "the house that jack-off built". It was a break from my super heavy non-fictional reading and also wondering why my children can´t entertain one another with now fighting heavy life.

Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

Emily: yes, Mooreland is the town, a three-street town at the time of her childhood, and I will probably from now on picture your family in the New Pal days as being in this book. Although Mooreland sounds much much hickier than New Pal does.

"175 Nights" sounds like the title they'd tell you in the CCL class, but really the book is called "55 Nights, And The Last Ten Are Only If You're Feeling Risky." Risky takes the place of Frisky, you see.

Anonymous said...

i am braving the hilarious catholic intellectual blog comments...bare with me, i am not a writer ;) i am reading a.j. jacobs "a year of living biblically" and i find it absolutely hilarious. i have heard that his other books, "the know it all" and "my outsourced life" are also funnny. maybe its something to get you through your slump, it's getting me throuhg mine!