Finding The Right Book

Maggie sent me this little  bookshelf painting.  I recognized many, but not all the books on her shelf.

I’ve been going from book to book this weekend, trying to find one that is distracting enough to hold my attention.

I just finished reading Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi.

I got lost in the language of that book.  It was like a surreal adventure inside the mind of a refugee who makes her way, with her father,  from Iran to America then decides to retrace their journey in reverse,  deconstructing it as she goes.

There’s a bird on her shoulder and she drags around the suitcase she and her father made the grueling trip with.  Now it’s transformed into a miniature museum and an interactive piece of art.  Literature is her religion, and she often communicates in quotes.  It’s only when she started interacting with other people that I could see just how unusual and wounded Zebra really was.  There were times the book went on too long, but it never lost me.  And I was always pulled back into Zebra’s colorful, smart, sad and determined world, looking for hope.

On Friday, I picked through the books waiting to be read on the chest in the living room.  (Lucky me, because of Jon, I always have a choice of books waiting for me).  I started  The Bear And The Nightingale, by Katherine Arden, but it was too much of a fairy tale for my mood.

I leafed thought the latest New Yorker,  breezed through the short story by Gish Jen, but then it was over.    I loved the photos and small piece about the roses harvested for Chanel No.5 then skipped the middle section of the only other article that interested me.  It was about a plastic surgeon who specializes in feminizing the faces of Trans women.  I was captivated  until it started describing the surgery in detail.  I couldn’t’ stomach that, so I skipped to the happy ending and was grateful for it.

In between, I savored the small chapters of Elisabeth Nova Bailey’s “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating.”

This morning I thought again about Jen’s story and that the short story format was what I needed.

So I picked up Jenny Zhang’s  Sour Heart.  Short Stories about the experiences of Chinese immigrant girls and their families coming to the United States.

I read the beginning of the first story  standing up in front of the wood stove.  I couldn’t stop, even to sit down.  It’s was perfect, gritty and real without an ounce of romance.  The  paragraph long sentences  made me think that the narrator has so much to say and she wants to make sure she gets it all in.

It feels good to know I have a book I want to get back to.  It’s always disorienting when I don’t have something to read.    Like there’s  something missing in my life.

7 thoughts on “Finding The Right Book

  1. Hi Maria,
    This isn’t a book but a documentary that is on Netflix. Actually it is a book too, I forgot! Anyway, it is called ‘On Yoga, Architecure of Peace’ and is based on photographer Michael O’Neill’s book about his travel in India and the U.S. photographing yogi’s and yoga students. It’s wonderful. A little slow when he is in his studio but then it gets rolling 🙂

  2. what a wonderul gift of artwork. i remember a photo taken of your living room and the piles of books.
    to be so caught up in the pages of a book that you find yourself standing in place..such joy.
    I’ve always been an avid reader. sometimes it takes me a moment or two to come back from where ever i had traveled to in the book I’m reading. i often look up and say I’m sorry i was in(name of place), what did you say?
    and sometimes being so caught up in the story that i actualy find it hard to focus at first on what the person is saying.
    a book that catches us up is as needed as food.

  3. I love that your attention was so captivated by what you were reading you couldn’t sit down, I love when I can get completely lost in a book the author pulls you right along within the pages of their story. The painting of the bookshelf is sweet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Full Moon Fiber Art