Wednesday, September 06, 2006

sleepy book talk

Tonight was the second meeting of my newly formed book group at Starbucks. We were supposed to meet last week, but since nobody knew yet what Ernesto was going to turn into then, we postponed it. Tonight we discussed A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole, a book I recently finished for the first time and LOVED. I need to read it again soon, because it's still swirling around in my head, and I'm still trying to process parts of it and decide what to make of those parts.

It takes place in New Orleans in the early 60s and has one of the most bizarre main characters I can recall. Best of all, the novel is quintessentially southern in so many ways--lots of conventions of southern writing throughout, which as some of you know, delights me to no end, as I have a severe weakness for southern literature. I could never quite put my finger on why I love southern lit so much, I just always have loved it. I know; that's a cop-out explanation, but it's all I can offer at 10:45 on a Wednesday night, after having to wake up at 4 am to get to work by 5 so we could open at 6. I guess there's something about the regional idiosyncrasies, which also manage to deal with issues that reach well beyond a particular region of this country. Plus, I just love the dark, comedic despair in southern writing.

Anyway, the book is hilarious and yet bigger than just funny. But I was afraid the rest of the group wouldn't like it, as it's not your typical beach read. Fortunately, all but one person loved it, and we had a great discussion! And, without getting into too much detail, the one who doesn't like it is sort of an idiot and I can't stand to discuss much of anything with her. She's one of these people who HAS to show that she knows everything about whatever is the topic of conversation, and she always has a personal experience dealing with that topic. And, the worst part about dealing with her, she's a one-upper. No matter what I say, she has to one-up me...have something better to say. It drives me crazy and makes for a fragmented conversation. Usually, after she finishes talking, there is a collective, "Anyway..." from the group. That is, when we don't have to interrupt her in order to steer the conversation back to the book. I think she thinks the group is just a vehicle for getting together to talk about other stuff. But, no, we are all actually getting together to discuss books, and I think this confuses her.

However, as I said, the book is great, and I recommend it to anyone who hasn't already read it. I especially love any scenes in which Ignatius goes to the movies. He's always horrified by what he sees, and yet he can't stay away from them. It kills me whenever he gets offended and yells at the screen. Oh, and when he tries to get the factory workers to revolt...I was in tears laughing.

Good stuff.

So remember that thing above about getting up at 4 am for work? I have to do that again Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I don't usually work the opening shift...for good reason. It's not pretty. Only once in a while does this happen. I actually enjoy the customers and everything about the store more during the opening shift than the rest of the day, but it's just the whole ordeal of getting up so early and--what's worse--trying to fall asleep at a reasonable time the night before. Thankfully, I don't have to do this tomorrow. But I'm exhausted anyway from getting up so early today.

So...I'm going to bed now.


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