These are the books in my life right now, propped up on my own deep old desk. Maybe a few too many? My monitor’s in the background, unable to hold a candle to this stack after I did my writing for the morning. Most of the adoption books are Canadian in subject matter, but I’m getting a sense for what’s different between what happened here and what happened in the US, where my story’s set. (When I think of being young, I think of Pennsylvania, and right now I don’t think I have the skill to plunk this story anywhere else.) Looking into the stories of these women has been illuminating, but I haven’t found stories of a place like the one I’m writing about, so I still feel like I can make things up when it suits me. I still love this book. I cannot believe I still love it this long into the process. Really, this has never happened before, not on any other try. The book feels like a boyfriend from another school who I only get to see on weekends. Every phone call and every thought is still bubbly with crushiness. I love anything that makes me feel fourteen again.
Then there’s a hearty dose of fiction—Sarah Addison Allen as a palate cleanser from all the heavy downers, Paul Auster for twisting my brain. Both of these I’ve had on my list at the library for eons, and I took them yesterday not knowing that the arc for the Ayelet Waldman would be waiting for me in the mailbox when I got home. And I’ve been anticipating Red Hook Road for a long time, so I can’t wait to get into it. I promise I’ll have a review in time for its on-sale date, and I’ll do the same for Proust’s Overcoat, the simple thought of which tickles me.
It was a good day at the library yesterday, where I landed after picking up bicycle tubes and taking a sandwich for lunch out on George Street while people-watching. I propped myself up on a concrete planter rim and took in the horde, especially the caravan of luxury tour buses lined up to turn onto Sussex Drive. Everywhere I looked, clusters of twenty middle-school age or younger kids, complete with harried chaperons, raced and rushed and laughed out loud. It was nice to see them playing tourist with their ID cards hanging from bright lanyards, sticking more or less together in the sunshine. One pudgy boy, no more than ten, surprised me when he said, “Ohmygawd, Starbucks, I cannot wait.” I can’t imagine drinking coffee at that age, not even whipped and frapped and sweetened till it’s unrecognizable. But both his friends rolled their eyes and they raced down the street, and I can only hope he was going for a green tea lemonade.