Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Books I Read

I just returned from the Public Library Association Conference in Minneapolis. Since I like to travel lightly, I only brought along two books: Hide Your Eyes by Alison Gaylin and Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger.

On the flight to Minneapolis, I read Alison Gaylin's Hide Your Eyes and I loved it. It's a chick lit/thriller about a Stanford grad who moves to New York City, makes friends with a group of out-of-work actors, witnesses a crime, and falls for the no-nonsense police detective who takes her case. If you want something light, entertaining, and a little bit romantic to read at the airport, this is your book. Another plus about Hide Your Eyes is that since the cover isn't pink, you probably won't be embarrassed to read it in public.
One of the many give-aways I picked up at the Conference was Joel Whitburn Presents Songs & Artists 2008: The Essential Music Guide for Your iPod and Other Portable Music Players. While I can appreciate the work that went into researching this book, the whole premise seems a little silly to me. If I'm at my computer deciding which songs to download onto my iPod, why would I refer to a clunky book when I could just stay online and browse the iTunes Store? To be fair, I must give the author credit for including our beloved bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven.

When I was in high school, I liked to read classics. Some of my favorite authors were Herman Hesse, E.M. Forster, Willa Cather, Charlotte Brontë, and, of course, J.D. Salinger. No wonder I'm enjoying my forties more than my teen years--I used to think too much, and a lot of that stuff is just plain depressing. J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories is a case in point. I started to reread it on the flight home. The very first story, A Perfect Day for Banana Fish, ends in a suicide. Blah! I decided to ditch the book and work on a crossword puzzle instead.