Bedside reading and reflection

I had that morning, and we’ve all had them, where a variety of small annoyances all happened one after the other and just about made me completely lose it. I spilled coffee on myself, tripped on my cat’s water bowl, my friends’ painting randomly fell off the nail it has been hanging on for six months now and crashed into the floor, I couldn’t find the belt I was looking for, I burnt myself with the curling iron…ha, just a bunch of dumb stuff that was really my own clumsy half-awake fault.

But then I got outside and turned on my ipod and the song that came on was Tom Petty’s You Wreck Me…

Now and again, I get the feelin’
If I don’t come in first, I’m gonna break even…

Ha, and I LOVE that song… it’s perfect getpumpedupfortheday music. And, oddly enough, the rest of my day was up and down so it kind of set a tone. I didn’t come in first or anything but I think I can say I broke even and had a fairly good time doing it. (My old CEO once said in a meeting about our recession-era numbers, “Straight is the new up!” I love that. It definitely can be applied to all hard times.

So now I’m home. My cat is on my chest. I’m posting this from my phone so I won’t get on my computer and get lost in all the stimulation of news feeds and comments and videos of, I dunno, dancing bears and postmodern sunsets. (It’s the reason I chose Posterous for this little experiment–it’s so easy to post on my phone.)

So yes… now I’m trying to decide what to read from my bedside stack and I’m feeling literary at the moment so I’m going to dive into my book talking self now…

I love stacks of books on a nightstand don’t you? They’re so full of promise somehow. You never know what you’ll be in the mood for or what you’ll pick up and end up devouring in one long perfect night. I once kept a copy of Finnegan’s Wake next to my bed for an entire year. I kept thinking the mood might hit me and I’d want to read about the Joycean world of dreams before bed but somehow it never happened. Every time I pick it up, I realize that I’d really need a guide of someshort to dive into that one.

But I also started reading Woolf’s Night and Day that way and it’s one of my favorite books of hers. Even if you aren’t a postmodernist fan it’s delightful and kind of romantic and dishy. Oh man, I could go off about that book. “Yes, the world looks something like that to me too.” Best. Line. Ever. Well, I dunno, there are so many. But, I’m straying… The bedside table works sometimes.

Tonight it’s between Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi, a total “Megan Book” by the sounds of it, about fairy tales, an author who kills all his heroines, muses, stories that come to life, heroines that won’t die, and love. (Of course, love. Because love is in every story in one form or another.)

So ya, there’s that.

Then On the Rocks, the KGB bar fiction anthology. I had never heard of this particular KGB bar but I found this anthology at Phoenix Books and apparently the bar is this old haunt of Ukrainian socialists and literary talent in New York. The collection has authors like Aimee Bender, Jonathan Lethem, Francine Prose, Joyce Carol Oates (I swear that woman is in every short story collection ever…er…collected), Ben Marcus… I mean, wow, all the people I love. So I’m excited for this one. Not sure if I’m in a short story mood though.

The other book is Girl in Landscape by Jonathan Lethem (hehe, ya, I like him). I loved Motherless Brooklyn and This Shape We’re In and then his collection of short stories Men and Cartoons was really good too but I’ve never read his SciFi until now and thought I should give it a chance. I like Girl in Landscape okay, but I haven’t really gotten “in” to it. I think I’ll finish it but only because it’s an easy read and doesn’t make me think too much. I did buy his massive hardcover The Ecstasy of Influence the other weekend though (I couldn’t help it, it was so big and beautiful and then I opened it up and it was so fun to flip through) and it’s been fun to pick through even if I haven’t quite dove into it yet either. I am hopeful for that one thought. I think it will be gook.

After Girl in Landscape there’s the Winter Paris Review, which has been wonderful so far but the only thing I have left to read is Bolano’s The Third Reich final installment, which I should be excited for but I dunno I miss Bolano’s Chilean poets as opposed to his German war-game dudes. It’s still Bolano thought, and still good, but I like the other stuff of his I’ve read better.

And that’s it on the table. Of course, I also sleep next to my bookcase, so in theory I have any number of books at my disposal, but that’s not really the point.

Hmm… I’m thinking the Lethem right now.

I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

Naturally, this is the picture of the night/day:




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