BOOK & BLOG
April 15, 2006
Book of the Week: Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston
Im embarrassed to tell you Ive spent most of the week re-reading my own DEFINITELY DEAD. When I first hold the book in my hands, Im compelled to check it out for mistakes, which is in itself a big mistake. Theyre already in print at that point, and theres no correcting them. DD held up pretty well to my scrutiny, only one or two tiny things I worried about, so Im satisfied. I also had to read my short story (Tacky) for MY BIG FAT SUPERNATURAL WEDDING (June), since I got the copy-edited version back for my final check before it goes to press. I dont know why, but Im really delighted with that story, and I hope you all enjoy it as much. Its not a Sookie; its about a snooty but loyal little vampire named Dahlia Linley-Chivers.
When I wasnt reading myself, I was buried in Charlie Hustons CAUGHT STEALING. This guy has so much talent its just amazing. He can write in first person present tense, and it just glides along like a knife through butter. (Ordinarily, present tense just stops me in my reading tracks.) Huston is not for the fainthearted or the queasy, because he has no qualms about writing a torture scene that makes you want to head for the nearest bathroom. But hes such an amazing no-holds-barred writer that you can hardly put his books down. This is the second book of his Ive read, and I am looking forward to collecting his other work.
Its the time of year when all things seem possible. The grass is growing, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, the bees are so thick on the bushes around the mailbox that collecting my letters every day requires a lot of courage.
Its also the time of repair. I look at the cedar siding on my house and realize it needs re-staining. My kitchen counters should be replaced, and our bedroom needs a coat of paint. The tool shed should be cleaned out, and my closet is a disgrace.
However, its also the time of year when I face a mid-summer book deadline. And my daughters softball team is playing. And my oldest son graduates from college, and my middle from boot camp.
With so many possible and necessary things sitting around waiting to be accomplished, its almost impossible to settle on any one job and finish it. I find myself buzzing around like one of those bees, flitting from flower to flower (task to task) with no end in sight. I know women back in the pioneer days worked from dawn to dark, every day. But it seems to me that women now have just as many things to accomplish; its only the details that have changed. We still have laundry, cooking, cleaning, child-rearing, and a big chunk of home maintenance to take care of. And a lot of us work outside the home, which was not the case with our foremothers. We still have big family occasions that must be attended; only now, we fly or drive instead of setting off in a wagon or on foot.
And now, thanks to modern medicine, we live longer so we can buzz around even more.
Im a happy woman, but Im also a frazzled woman, and I suspect many of you share that. Im not saying men have it any better; I dont believe that for a minute. Maybe its inevitable that adults, no matter what their century, have to cope with a complex of obligations and problems that can suck the joy out of living.
Lets try not to let that happen. Remember to take that ten minutes a day, just ten minutes, to sit and stare at something wonderful a book, a flower, a dog, a sleeping child -- even the inside of your own eyelids. You owe yourself that ten minutes.
® 2010 Charlaine Harris