My to-be-read pile is approaching Tower of Babel heights, and yet, like those foolhardy Old Testament architects, I keep adding layer upon layer. If I should disappear from this blog you will know the tower fell over and crushed me in my sleep. Whatever happened to Melissa Wiley? She died as she lived, buried in books.
My parents are in town (yippee!!), and yesterday Scott and I left the kids in their energetic hands and went for a drive in the mountains. On the way home, we stopped at a bookstore. We had a $50 gift certificate to spend and wish lists a computer-screen long. But we left without buying a single book. Why? We weren’t sure. Both of us walked into the store eager and drooling, and we walked out subdued, pensive, puzzled. We didn’t know why we weren’t buying anything; we’d each collected a few books on our slow stroll through the aisles. But we put them back.
Option paralysis? I guess. I couldn’t remember what was on my wish list. Of course I could have recited it line by line as soon as we were back in the car. An Egg Is Quiet; Mistress Masham’s Repose; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; Never Tease a Weasel; the entire Melendy series by Elizabeth Enright; a dozen other titles.
I did almost buy a copy of Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, which I had not heard of before a very large signboard just inside the store entrance informed me that I will find it Spellbinding, Beautifully Crafted, and Mesmerizing. Judging the book by its cover, I was inclined to believe the ad copy. Besides, I’m assured the novel is also Tender and Delicious, which makes me think of asparagus. I love asparagus. I also love magical realism and Southern writers (you know how I feel about Fred Chappell, for instance), so really, I have very high hopes for Garden Spells. And I could be reading it right now, but I didn’t buy the book.
That gift card is burning a hole in my bag, so maybe I’ll go back to the bookstore.
I also almost bought (for five dollars in the bargain section, so again: why didn’t I?) A Widow’s Tale by Margaret Frazier. I have never read any of Frazier’s work but I am almost certain I’ve heard one of the other book bloggers raving about her recently. Which one of you was it?
Then! I came home to my bloated Google Reader and saw all those tantalizing Under the Radar recommendations, and oh! There are so many books I want to read. I will raid the library and add them to the tower, my darling, my nemesis.
“The exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting…is denied to me.”
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