As I said on New Year's Day, one of my projects for the year is to keep track of all the reading done by the characters in the fiction that I read.
There was enough enthusiasm expressed in the comments of that post that I decided not to dally in getting the project started--even though the characters in the books I'm reading now aren't being very specific about their reading choices (except for the dead guy in The Yiddish Policemen's Union who read Siegbert Terrasch's Three Hundred Chess Games and "cheap Yiddish thrillers"). I'm inaugurating the project today with a few instances from a book I read several years back that I remembered as being especially bookish, Katharine Weber's first novel, Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear.
I'm providing a Mr. Linky down below, and I'm being presumptuous in adding links Sherry and Mel U provided me with in the earlier post. Sherry wrote a post about Book-Loving Books last month and Mel U's entire blog is about the literary treatment of reading--I linked to a couple of his posts and I hope he'll link to more. And I'm hoping Frances will blog about the reading list completed byRoald Dahl's Matilda and provide a link here once she has!
If anyone else decides to keep track of, or to mention on occasion, what the fictional characters they encounter are reading, I would be most grateful if you'd link to it here after you've made note of it on your own blog. I will add a direct link to this post in the sidebar so that you can find it easily.
And now for a few quotes from Katharine Weber's Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear:
She also has no good records. I just got up for a stretch and a prowl, and I see nothing worthwhile except for the Django Reinhardt album I gave her for her birthday last year, which she doesn't seem to have opened. Too much Rachmaninoff, way too much. Also odd books: very affettato fiction (The Name of the Rose, an unread-looking Pynchon, dog-eared Du Maurier, and strange quantities of Ann Beattie and Paul Theroux), three different How to Improve books (sex life, complexion, thighs), and, of course, your basic, up-t0-date Survivor Guilt Library: The Abandonment of the Jews, Holocaust Testimonies, the Annotated Diary of Anne Frank, Eichmann in Jerusalem, Children Without Childhoods, Nazi Doctors, Wartime Lies, Sophie's Choice, The Painted Bird, and every book by Primo Levi. (I wonder if I could make money with a Holocaust Book Club. You bet. People would be too guilty to return any of the monthly selections.)
Was it Alexander Portnoy who thought spatula was Yiddish? When I was small, Gay read to me a lot (possibly because she wasn't particularly adept at making conversation with a toddler), and what she read included some books from her own childhood, as well as books she had read to my mother when she was little. Consequently, when I was about six (the story goes), I asked my mother for a sixpence for the gumball machine in the shoe store. (My mother thought this was a bit much and instituted an embargo on Enid Blyton books.)
I lie on a chaise with my towel and book (I'm reading Anne's copy of Rebecca--I keep wanting to sing "On the Road to Manderley") and sunglasses, and when I get too hot, I swim, and then I come back and lie here some more.
Harriet's books (she was always in the middle of several at once; this month she was reading Anne's books as well as her own Saki and Henry James stories) seemed to perplex Victor when he encountered them splayed on various surface throught the flat. He would pick up each one, examine the title with a distracted air as though hoping for some explanation of something, and then close the book (thereby losing Harriet's place) before putting it down.