I haven’t been finishing books at my usual rate since we have been back from vacation in late August. Split shifts are my reality this month. I work until school is out, do the usual good family things – dinner, bath, bedtime – then I go back to work for a few hours. Our online selling has been such a mess since we switched over to an inventory system. I basically have to start from scratch and it has taken quite awhile to set everything up on the new system. I have started to add things back to our online platforms just in the last couple of days. Since our online sales make up 20% of our overall sales, this is a priority for sure. I think I have said this before but the previous owner had a very elaborate sticky note and paper notebook system that made me want to poke out my eyeballs. I had to put listings up on the online platforms separately and then once the books sold, take them down separately as well. The new system will be so much better but right at this moment, it’s just a lot of work. Anyway! All of that to say, I haven’t been reading all that much.
Last night I finally finished The Story of the Lost Child, the fourth and final novel in the Neapolitan Novels. I was talking to a customer of the store, a surgeon that works with Telfer, who is also compulsively reading the series. The books do get a little soap-opera-y at times but by books two and three and four, I was so enmeshed in the lives of Elena and Lila and their neighborhood in Naples that I just could not stop. If you want a Fall reading project I highly recommend these four novels though. I have never read anything quite like them.
I finished My Bright Abyss: Meditations of a Modern Believer (on my Shelf Project #2). Wiman is a poet with cancer and his book is dense and searing and if you are me, really encouraging. An example: “To experience grace is one thing; to integrate it into your life is quite another. What I crave now is that integration, some speech that is true to the transcendent nature of grace yet adequate to the hard reality in which daily faith operates. I crave, I suppose, the poetry and the prose of knowing.”
I started Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff this morning so it’s too early to tell what I think. It’s A Big Fall Book with lots of buzz and reviews. I *loved* Groff’s other books, especially Arcadia, so I am quite thrilled to be reading this. It’s nice to get away from Naples for a bit.
Out a bit: Isn’t this the prettiest copy of Persuasion you ever did see? As I read this novel about once a year or so, I think it’s next on my list…
Out of curiosity, what are you reading?