Thursday, April 08, 2004

I really have to speed up my reading because I have many books on tap that I've been dying to get into. I've dipped into A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Canadian Gil Courtemanche, a novel about middle-class blacks and foreign whites in Rwanda at the time of the genocide of the Tutsis by the Hutus. A swimming pool at a so-called luxury hotel provides the setting or backdrop for the novel. I've noticed recently that many books and articles are being published about the 1994 Rwandan civil war, a time when few in the West batted an eye at the mass slaughter of the Tutsis.

I've had John Updike's Early Stories out of the library for a while now and, because of my perpetual freelance job seeking, I can't seem to grab the time to read more than a story here, a story there. In the evenings, I finish the dinner chores and walk Sophie and collapse on the couch in not the highest of spirits. Actually, though, after a stressed-out day applying for jobs and sending out queries that are answered only once in a blue moon, a book is a huge solace. A peace envelops me as I turn the pages. If only the tv set weren't blaring. I find "24" to be the most annoying show to try to read by.

Last night we watched "The Hours." I'm finding the performances absorbing although when I tried to read the book, I was able to tolerate only a chapter. I almost feel like apologizing, because the writing itself is accomplished, but I found it overwhelmingly pretentious. My book group read both Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours one month, and I found the combination to be too much. A bit like eating two pounds of molasses candy. All at once.


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