I got a little crazy for a while and ordered more books from the library than I could possibly read. I tried hard, but it wasn’t enough. I had to send a few back unread, including The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, because the library wouldn’t let me renew them.
I did well to get some of them done as fast as I did, though. I just finished Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut. It was due on April 10th, so to have finished it on the 11th was pretty good. The 11th was coincidentally the anniversary of his death (and the same day of the month that my 2007 Vonnegut Marathon ended on). I said to my husband, “That’s so cool. What are the odds that I would finish the book on that particular day?” He replied, “One in 365.” Ha-ha. Smart-ass!
He also said, as he always does when I read Vonnegut these days, “But didn’t you already read all the Vonnegut?” No. The Vonnegut Marathon only encompassed Vonnegut’s fourteen novels. It did not include the collections of short pieces, which I’ve been working on since. I read Wampeters, Foma, and Granfalloons in 2008, Look at the Birdie: Unpublished Fiction in 2010, A Man Without a Country in 2013, and now Welcome to the Monkey House in 2014.
Welcome to the Monkey House is said to be one of his better collections. Vonnegut is often thought of as a sci-fi writer, but this collection provides a wide range of subjects, from a housewife obsessed with interior design, to a self-employed man who scares himself into taking a factory job, to an amateur actor who completely immerses himself in his theater roles. I enjoyed some of the stories quite a bit, and some of them not as much, so I decided to give it an A- grade.
My next big reading hurdle will be Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. The library book club discussion is scheduled for next Monday, so I will have to hurry. My husband doubts I’ll be able to read it in time. Hah! By saying so, he has virtually guaranteed that I will. I like a challenge.
After that, I will have to finish Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer (it’s very good so far). Then I’ll be rushing though Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin, The Last Dragonslayer and The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde, and Elidor by Alan Garner. Once I’ve completed those, I’ll be done with my stack of library books. That is, unless I’m crazy enough to order more.
I’m not sure it matters. I have stacks and stacks of my own books that are still waiting to be read. One way or another, my reading plate is full!