After a burst of vacation/travel reading, I slowed down mid-August. Read much of Chris Bohjalian's The Sandcastle Girls for book club, but then couldn’t attend the meeting, as I had some family conflicts that arose. Sandcastle was a mediocre reading experience for me – another historical novel that seemed to try hard to teach –and in this case impress with violence. The story of slaughter of Armenians by Turks, and the events at Gallipoli, need to be told an retold, but this telling didn’t engage me.
I started Niall Williams The History of the Rain, but haven’t made great progress.
It isn’t the book; it’s me. I do best when I have long stretches of reading time or a deadline, and lately I’ve chopped my reading into such short, unsatisfying segments that I’m frustrated. The damn internet – and all the news sites I visit -- get in the way of good novels. I confess to a near-obsession with checking in on the corruption case of our former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen. The melodrama and trashiness of the testimony have had me hooked. The case has gone to the jury, so I'll soon be done with it.
I work today, but tomorrow may devote a couple of hours to Rain, and hope to create enough flow to propel me. So far, it’s a lovely, lyrical book, with multiple mid-narrative interruptions in the telling, all the more reason to read it without my own digressions to add to its own.