Are You Reading What We’re Reading?

October 18, 2013

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s book club time!

The older and more seasoned my relationship with technology becomes, the more I can appreciate the tender solitude and bliss that comes with reading a real life, brick and mortar book. With every turning page, I feel like I’ve  successfully downloaded a wealth of new knowledge whether beautifully futile or stupendously informative and when I finally get to the bittersweet end, that final tissue-thin page of diminutive data tells the tale of the journey I’ve just near completed. Finishing a book and having it sit in your lap, or on your book shelf is like staring a tangible accomplishment in the eye. And winking.

The problem, of course, is actually logging off. If I’m reading two books a month, it’s only because maniacally checking Instagram or getting lost in Twitter headlines are getting in the way of that number escalating. It’s easy to say I’ll unplug to allow myself the opportunity to indulge in the art of the written word but even after I attempt to perform this practice, my thoughts are moving at an unusually quick pace, making the ability to just sit the fuck down and read without wondering 75 different, fractured things almost, but not quite, impossible.

Which is precisely why I hope airplane WiFi stops while its ahead. I’ve been traveling a lot the last two months and that has insofar afforded me the opportunity to read eight books – cover to cover. There’s something about getting on a flight, shutting off your phone and knowing that even if you want it back on, that demand will result in a seedless No Service.

But can’t we pretend we’re airborne while on land every now and then? I’m putting a faculty-flex forward in favor of a weekly installment called Book Club where I either tell you what I’m reading and why I do or don’t like it or you tell me the same. Or we do both.

i_remember_nothing_-_norah_ephron

I guess I’ll get the ball rolling with Nora Ephron’s collection of personal essays, I Remember Nothing.

It’s a fairly quick read (I read it while delayed, cell service still operating and all, on a flight last month) that unwittingly seeps into the semipermeable contents of your conscience. Often, it makes you grateful for the problems you don’t share, but can softly whisper to the ones you do and make even those seem special too.

My favorite story was the third in the book, called “The Legend” which touched upon Ephron’s relationship with her mother in the form of a tale detailing the time in which the latter threw Lillian Ross out of her home in defense of her children.

My favorite quote from the book is, I’m pretty sure, (maybe?), a metaphor for life that uses a spoon and dessert as the literary device that will bring the seemingly hackneyed excerpt way back around to remind us as our moral obligation as humans to savor The Sweet Moments:

“Here’s the thing about dessert – you want it to last. You want to savor it. Dessert is so delicious. It’s so sweet. It’s so bad for you so much of the time. And, as with all bad things, you want it to last as long as possible. But you can’t make it last if they give you a great big spoon to eat it with. You’ll gobble up your dessert in two big gulps. Then it will be gone. And the meal will be over.

Why don’t they get this? It’s obvious.”

To make the impossible-to-talk-about highly digestible (no pun intended) if not completely approachable is an art form. If I were Sandy Kenyon here’s where I’d give Ephron x amount of apples and tell you to either go out and buy the book or save your money for some reason as ridiculous as likening points of acclaim to fruit but I’m not an asshole masquerading as a critic so I’ll just say, this would have rendered the same level of warmth and gratitude for my having been born a woman posthumously or not. Do with that as you please.

-Leandra Medine

  • Amatoria Clothing

    This reminds me of ANOTHER metaphor having to do with food, and most importantly our SPACE as women.
    http://www.upworthy.com/watch-a-student-totally-nail-something-about-women-that-ive-been-trying-to-articulate-for-37-years-6?g=3

  • http://jessjoycej.wordpress.com/ Jessica Joyce

    Yes! I just finished reading Crazy Salad and Scribble Scribble, her other books of personal essays. I was having withdrawals, so I just rewatched all her films, because my work can wait. Guess it’s time to hit up Amazon again…but it’s okay, I’m obsessed with Nora.

    Your Friend, Jess

  • Clara

    I love this new section!!!! (and this concrete article too)

  • http://eileentheooer.blogspot.com/ Eileen

    Thanks Leandra for always inspiring me to read, when everywhere I go I see people on their smartphones. I, now more than ever, enjoy reading a good book and carefully digest every word the author chooses. I wish I lived in NY so I can meet you!

  • http://twitter.com/cocolien Coco

    I love your writing and this dessert analogy is a big slap in the face for me. It’s a simple reminder that I need to slow down sometimes to absorb and savour all the feelings I experience instead of worrying about the next item on my to-do list. Definitely looking forward to reading this book and to reading more of your recommendations!

  • Mariama

    Sometimes I find your writing time style interesting, but other times you completely lose my attention because it can come off as somewhat stilted.

  • Lisa Thomson

    I just love Nora Ephron’s writing, at least in the movies. I confess I have not read any of her books. This one sounds interesting. We lost a good one when she passed. I agree with you Leandra, on the enjoyment of reading a book and unplugging. It’s less and less for me, too.

  • bfp

    YAY!!!

  • Bianca

    Because of you, I’m reading Slouching Towards Bethlehem! Couldn’t be happier.

  • Jules

    I’m reading Tales of the Jazz Age – it’s a collection of short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald and it’s luscious! The Great Gatsby film has everyone reading his novels, but his short stories are definitely worth a gander. Disclaimer: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button short story is even more heartbreaking than the movie. Do not read it in public. You will cry. And you know what’s not cute? Crying in public.

  • anounymous

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  • Desperate housewife

    What does this mean?.

  • Rachael Kilgour

    I’m reading Seeking Love. Finding Overalls :)