Thursday, February 18, 2010

Crawling Out From Under Snowpocalypse & Being Lost in a Good Book...

If you don't live around here, I'm sure you've all seen the news of the recent enormous snowfall dumping on hunks of the country. In case you missed them on my Facebook page, here are a few pictures I took through the windows of my warm house, most likely while wearing a Snuggie.

Because of the snowiness, I was pretty much stuck in the house for FOUR SOLID DAYS. Me, Katkin, the boy, the elderly cat, and a dwindling supply of cereal and canned goods. But instead of watching the Olympics, I engaged in a few glorious days of all-in reading.

A friend recommended Kathryn Stockett's debut novel THE HELP (note: a book for grown-ups) and once I got into it, I was gone. I neglected my family. I ate very little. I wore pajamas. There was no showering. I read chapters out loud and copied down my favorite lines. And when I finally finished it at 3:15 AM on Monday I sat weeping on my sofa. Sigh.

Several times a year I'm completely consumed by a book this way. Nothing exists but me, the characters and their world. And when I read the last page and close the cover, it's as if I'm leaving a lover after a secret weekend in a hotel room. There has been very little sleeping. Scenes linger in my thoughts for weeks. And I wish I could go back and experience it anew.

I am now clean, well-rested and back at my desk. I've loaned the book to another friend and ordered her to start reading so we can discuss. And I'm looking forward to the next snowstorm or airplane ride or day when I suddenly have a few hours and a gem. (Your recommendations are welcome.)


Brenda Ferber said...

Loved The Help so much and had a similar reading experience. I just read Mudbound, which has some similarities to The Help. It's gripping and more disturbing than The Help. It's told in multiple viewpoints, and I don't think it's done quite as well in terms of voice, but it's still excellent.

Alice said...

Thanks Brenda. That's the first book I'll put on the list I'm making in my iPhone.

Sharon Kirk Clifton said...

Nice photos, but the one of the icicles is positively artistic! Love it! (As long as I'm inside viewing it.)

Danette Haworth said...

I read The Help and I absolutely loved it. It took me three nights, kept me up late, and lingered in my mind long after I finished the last page.

This is the kind of book you read slowly, savoring every word. That says a lot about the characters and voice; when the plot is what drives me as a reader, I tend to skim passages to pick up information and get to the next plot point.

Jean Reidy said...

I bought THE HELP for my daughter for Christmas. She had so much college reading to do, she never got to it. I might just have to borrow it - even before she's read it.

CocoaStomp said...

Goodness. As you were the cleanest and neatest member of Team Blog, I can only imagine how good The Help is. I'm ordering it lickety split.

One Womans Eye said...

I stayed up late last night finishing The Help. I too found it a great read. Another really good one I read recently is Sarah's Key. You won't be able to put that down either.

jhedlund33 said...

My book club read The Help and just had our meeting last night. Almost all of us loved it, and it sure did spark an amazing set of conversations. One thing we all agreed on is how nice it is to find a book that is easy to read but still intelligent and thought-provoking.

Jan Markley said...

Wow! What a resounding endorsement. I would recommend Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I am currently reading Going Boivine by Libba Bray (bought it at SCBWI NY) and am loving it.

Mary Lou said...

Just love the icicle photo, great perpective! It's been a while since I've been that consumed by a good book. Yet the feeling of losing yourself for hours or days, wonderful escape. My last good book was the Beach House by Jane Green

Sandie Lee said...

I LOVE when that happens. Ahh, I just wish it could be more often.

Great spot and I'm going to go get the book. Thanks :)

Rita said...

That is the best! I feel like I have to go through so many crappy books to get a really good one. I am one of those people who will most likely finish a bad book, just hoping it gets better. I do the same with movies.

Terresa said...

The Help has been all over the place these days. While I haven't read it yet, it's on my radar and reading your post put it there, again.

PS: Your icicle and snow pics are astounding!

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