Sunday, May 18, 2008

Reading Binge

Did I mention I cut my hand back in January? Did I mention that I was slicing eggplant for eggplant parmigiana and somehow mistook the side of my left hand for a big purple vegetable? (Or is eggplant a fruit. I can never remember.) Anyway that one stupid, stupid accident brought my knitting mania to a screeching halt and threw me into major withdrawal.

(For more of my knitting adventures, please visit Romancing the Yarn.)

Anyway with my knitting temporarily on hold, I found myself reaching for my Kindle and diving back into reading in a big way. Very big way. For the last few months I've been devouring books like they were M&Ms. Popping one after another into my hungry brain and loving every second of it in a way I haven't in longer than I am willing to admit.

Biographies, memoirs. how-to, yes a bunch of knitting books (if you can't knit, you might as well read about it and drool over the pretty pictures), reread all of Jan Karon's Father Tim/Mitfords, Robert B. Parker's Sunny Randalls (I still say she's Spenser with ovaries and better hair), Tamar Myers' different series.

If you remember, back in December I had a few complaints about the Kindle. I wanted to love it but couldn't quite move beyond a state of mild affection. Well, I still have the same complaints (what genius [said with great sarcasm] came up with that stupid arrangement of page-turning buttons?) (probably the same one who opted not to include backlighting) but I am now officially in love. I'm not quite sure when it happened but I couldn't live without my Kindle. Okay, so the add-on light is a pain in the butt but that's a small price to pay for the absolute delight of carrying a library around in my bag.

I think I told you that I have a serious addiction to celebrity bios. Good, bad, super-bad. I don't care. I'll read them. And tell you all about it.


Admission: I wasn't a ONE DAY AT A TIME fan and I wasn't a Valerie Bertinelli fan. Her all-American cheerful TV persona left me cold. So I didn't approach this book expecting to automatically love it. I approached it because I love to peek behind the curtain of celebrity even if what they choose to show us has been run past a half dozen PR types and vetted by lawyers.

So I was very surprised to find myself turning the pages wondering what was going to happen next when, to be honest, I pretty much already knew. (I read the supermarket magazines you're not supposed to admit you read. I mean, the girl married Eddie Van Halen. That has to mean something, right?) Bertinelli chronicles her mis-steps with almost relentless precision. Every fall from grace, both minor and major, merits ink. Lots of ink. She's surprisingly self-effacing, direct, engaging, brutally honest. (At least it seems that way.)

The reader in me loved the confessional tone. The writer in me enjoyed the style. The human being in me wondered if full disclosure was really necessary. We seem to be living in a world of glass walls and loudspeakers. Full disclosure makes sense if you're running for office, but I wonder why we find it necessary from our celebrities too.

I know I aid and abet in my own way, but even I have to wonder if we really need a reality show starring Lindsay Lohan's mother?

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