Good night.

Time for some end-of-year stuff.  I started the year with the excellent Chris Adrian and his excellent The Children’s Hospital and finished with Tom McCarthy’s Men in Space.  Lots of good stuff in between.  I was excited to discover Joseph Coulson’s fine Of Song and Water, easily the best novel I’ve read about jazz – though it’s about fathers, sons, and boating as well.  It’s a masterful work. 

Disappointments: Murakami’s After Dark; Paul Auster’s Brooklyn Follies and Travels in the Scriptorium; Stephen Dixon’s Meyer.  There were others.  Seems like more disappointing reads this year than last. 

Best surprises:  Robert Lopez’ Part of the World and Simon Van Booy’s The Secret Lives of People in Love, both sent to me for review; Lydie Salvayre’s The Company of Ghosts, picked off the shelf on a whim, no idea why; and Jason Shiga’s Bookhunter, which so-briefly made me feel like a kid again.  And of course, need I mention McCarthy’s Remainder again?  (Guess so.)

I had plans at the end of 2006 to keep a more thorough list of what
I read in 2007, but I know there were some gaps.  At some point I read Memories of My Melancholy Whores,
but it appears on neither the books-read list in my email or the one in
my journal.  There’s a pretty big gap here at the end, as well – I
haven’t been reading much of anything lately.

It’s been a strange year; a lot more stress, more uncertainty, more
feeling lost.  Great things as well – a new daughter, new friends,
seeing my first daughter go from a toddler to a girl.  She was doing
some writing today, practicing writing names, asking me how to spell
them.  I went in the other room for something that took longer than it
should have, as many things do, and when I came back she held up her
paper.  She had signed the paper "From" and then her name – not
actually "from" but FMM, but the thing is that she hadn’t written that
word before, hadn’t been practicing it, didn’t have anything to copy it
by.  I asked her how she had done it, and she told me that she just
listened to the sounds in the word and then made the letters.  I can’t
imagine a better way to end the year for someone who loves words,
writing, letters, and that girl. 



One Reply to “Good night.”

  1. I’ve not read After dark but it seems the reviews are mixed. It has appeared on people’s end of year lists as favorites and as on yours, disappointments. Interesting. Very cute story about your daughter.

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