I'd like to complain about two of the books I've started reading this week. One, Living with Cannibals and Other Women's Adventures, was billed as the thrilling true-life tales of globe-trotting adventuresses of yore. Alas, it appears to be written at an eighth grade level and is putting me to sleep. I will be giving this away soon; any takers? It would be perfect reading for the can, but mine is already well stocked with fine catalogues and last week's Stranger. The second, Furies of Calderon, is by Jim Butcher, the man whose Harry Dresden mystery novels I've been enjoying so much. Now I'm convinced he's a hack. Page 12 and I'm bored. This and its successor are coming off of my wish list stat. Thank God this one was from the library and didn't cost me anything!
Shockingly, a book I started earlier in the week is proving a total treat: Every Night, Josephine! It's by Jacqueline Susann and it's the story of her love affair with her poodle. Now, she's no Steinbeck (who wrote about his own poodle in Travels with Charley), but she's such a charming ignoramus about dogs and her voice is SO incredibly strong that I'm finding it a total treat to read. It's rather like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in that respect, only GPB was deliberately making fun of itself and I can't tell if JS has any idea she's a moron. I loved the harsh vision of Valley of the Dolls, which I read as a tale from a time when women really did have very limited choices and the interactions we had with men were so much more heavily structured by society. But reading this book makes the concept of "the little lady" so much more ... painful. At any rate, I'm getting a huge kick out of it, whatever my reasons, and this little Ebay purchase is making my reading time joyful. I'd love to have something a little more meaty, but, hey! That copy of Absalom, Absalom is right there any time I feel like picking it up again, where it's been sitting for about a year waiting for my attention, and Josephine is likely to be finished in about two days and then quickly making the rounds of my book loving friends. Sorry, Dead White Guy with a Really Labored Style! Sometimes you just can't win.