Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Musing at random

I love reading but hate starting. Or do I? I love the promise of a new book in my hands just like I loved the first day of each of my college courses, before the first boring lecture or looming test. However, once I've opened to the first page and begun my trek into whatever reality exists within the pages, I often struggle. Picking up a book that I enjoy from the get-go has been a rare pleasure lately, as so often I find myself in a slight book-starting lull. It's especially bad when I've just come off a few good books only to find one that is presenting somewhat of an obstacle to me. I finished A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelley on Sunday, and enjoyed it very much, but though I've begun another book, I still feel like I'm between books because the new book has yet to get its hooks into me. The new book is The Alienist by Caleb Carr. I'm nearing the magical 50 page mark and while I'm not thoroughly disliking it, I don't really feel engaged with it either. One review on LibraryThing suggested sticking with it through 75 pages and then I'd be hooked, so I guess I'll attempt to persevere until then and see how I feel. If anybody happens by that has an opinion on the book or on matters such as this in general, I'd welcome your opinions and suggestions as I do so hate to give up on a book that might be good but hate to dedicate valuable reading time to something I'm just not enjoying.

In less bookish musing, I bring to you one of my least favorite things: the telephone. Though I enjoy many of the interchanges with people I have on the phone, the ring of it still strikes me with fear. Who might I have to talk to? Who might be about to ruin my day's plans or lack of plans? What are they trying to sell me? What havoc will this friend, relative, or stranger wreak on my life?

I can't for the life of me think of why the ring of the phone puts me into a momentary terror, but it most certainly does. I like to talk to my friends. I like to talk to my family. I like to intercept offers of job interviews without having to go through the struggle of having to return some elusive possible employer's calls. I like to talk to people. I even like to solve their problems should the need arise.

Maybe it's because my immediate family, while a bunch of fun loving life of the party sorts, is at its core, tremendously anti-social. Maybe it's because we are all-too-often prevailed upon to complete familial tasks which have no apparent reward and merely open us up to spending all our time on familial tasks. Maybe it's from having, for far too much of my life, the types of jobs where when someone calls in sick or doesn't show for work at all, the boss comes looking to ruin my day by begging me to work their hours on my day off. Maybe it's a leftover feeling from my tenure as a bookseller at a busy, busy store where answering the phone left me wide open to attempting to have a conversation with someone who was likely to be a bigger blithering impatient idiot than anybody currently on the premisis who not only wants me to find "a fiction book with a blue cover that was reviewed in the Times a few weeks ago...or was it last year?" but also has a dismal phone connection, an impenetrable accent, little to no speaking knowledge of the English language, and a short fuse when I tell them I know not of which book they could possibly be speaking. Maybe it's from getting too many job interviews that I'm certain will end with me either making a fool of myself in the initial phone encounter or even succeeding at that first encounter, but eventually being rejected anyway. Or maybe it's from being offered several jobs which I can neither afford to turn down nor want to accept.

Either way, the phone's ringing, and I just can't handle it at all.


  1. Hi, Megan! I've found my way here by way of Kookiejar's blog, which I found by way of The Book Mine Set. Ah, the internet!

    Although I'm not a big fan of thrillers in general, I loved The Alienist and its sequel, The Angel of Darkness. I like the combination of thriller and historical novel. I also liked a more recent novel in that genre, Jed Rubenfeld's The Interpretation of Murder.

  2. You know what Megan? I hate the telephone too. I like talking to my friends most of the time, but if it's family calling, I know they are going to want me to change my plans to do something for them. Blah.

    *kookiejar waves to Rob*

    Rob is right, "The Interpretation of Murder" is an excellent novel.

  3. Thank you both for stopping by!

    Rob, thanks for the encouragement Re: The Alienist. As I've just passed the 50 page mark, it's starting to capture me a bit more, so I'll be keeping at it!

    I've heard good things about The Interpretation of Murder before, so it's already on my wish list, but with even more glowing recommendations, I'll definitely have to track down a copy soon!