Thursday, October 06, 2011

reading ZAZEN and complaining

I am reading Zazen by Vanessa Veselka right now and it is making me edgy. I can actually feel the anticipation in my arms and legs, buzzing away while I am on the subway or getting into bed at night. Twitter made me read the book and it is very good so far. It is about a woman who is having "lifetime problems," as Zane and I might say to one another, and her problems are not being helped by the bombings that begin to crowd her imagination and then her reality. It also has many good vegan cupcake jokes.

I think my reaction comes from both the building dread in the book and the fear that it will stop being good. When you have a burnt out, kind of crazy, first-person, narrator, there is a chance of that their misery will overwhelm the action of the story, and just become repetitive. Each time Veselka veers towards that she pulls it back in nicely. But what if, next time, she doesn't? WHAT IF? I guess I have just been reading too many pretty good books--A Visit from the Goon Squad and Our Tragic Universe,* I'm looking your way--when I want to be reading great books.

Toting Zazen around confirmed my conclusion that the covers of these Red Lemonade books do leave something to be desired. Not the design, but the paper stock. They just curl and curl, making me look like a sloppy book mangler with pancakes for hands.

*Both of these were excellent airplane books, however. Except the part where there is a dead brother and I cry and cry.

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