July 11, 2005

A useless post about Book #29

Just finished Melissa Bank's The Wonder Spot.

Several strange coincidences occurred to me while reading this book. For instance, one day I was sitting on the porch reading, and looked up for a second to wave at the guy next door. He reminded me of someone I had met the night before, a guy named Will Robinson (bear with me for a second here). I spaced out for a second, thinking about him: "Hmm, that guy Will was kind of cute. And interesting, too, but a little intense." and then went back to my book. The very line of text my eye landed on was, "Danger, Will Robinson." Danger, indeed!

Another time, I gave up The Wonder Spot for a bit and read some poetry while I ate lunch - a really nice little book of poetry by Poet Laureate Billy Collins (I highly recommend checking him out, by the way). Having finished my lunch, I put down the poetry and went back to Melissa Bank. Within a few pages, two of her characters began talking about their love for a Billy Collins poem.

I am sure I did not scan ahead! I would have remembered! And when it happened again - I was drinking a cranberry/selzer combo as I read one afternoon, and our heroine Sophie's brother fixes himself the same drink - I kind of got freaked out.

I know that all of these coincidences are not that unusual. A lot of people like Billy Collins. There are a million Will Robinsons out there (which is why I feel okay about using his name in this post), and seltzer with cranberry juice is not an unusual drink. It's kind of like saying, "omigod Britney's favorite color is blue, and MY favorite color is blue!!! We're so much alike!!!!" But still, when it happened that many times? With one book? I thought I might as well mention it here, just so I can remember.

But about the book. The Wonder Spot is Ms. Bank's follow-up to The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing. I read that book when it came out, and I remember liking it, but I don't remember being floored by it like so many girls seemed to be. I should read it again to make sure, though, because I really liked this one.

The book is a series of stories about Sophie Applebaum, a regular, funny girl, as she grows up. Yeah, the same thing I always read these days. I loved the love stories in this book. Her reactions to the different men in her life were easily felt, and touching. There were some good scenes:

"Well," I said, "I have to go."
He said, "Can I call you?"
I waited a long time before answering, though not, of course, as long as he'd made me wait. I let him stand there with the question in the air while I took a good long look at him, let him stand there while I stepped to the street and raised my arm for a cab. At exactly that moment, as though dispatched by some god I didn't really believe in anymore - the god of drama or god of perfect things - or maybe by my own fairy god, a cab came. I got in, and closed the door.

As if! Still, nice.

And the book was funny, too:

I was looking for my Hebrew I when I heard my mother blow her nose in the kitchen. When I walked in, she was sitting at the table crying. Albert had one paw in her lap.
"What is it?" I said.
She said, "I just love cigarettes so much," and I took her hand, and didn't let go even once she stopped crying.

(Maybe that part wouldn't be funny to a smoker, but it was funny to me.) I don't know. I guess I don't really have anything pithy to say about this book. I'm kind of braindead today, and rambling. I did enjoy it, but I think I should try to move on and read some books that aren't about young women figuring themselves out. I'm getting a little tired of all the introspection they're causing me.


Ms Draggletail said...

I suck at formatting these posts. I wish I could get the spacing right. Damn me!

Liz Fisher said...

That is an unusual number of coincidences! Did I tell you I am hooked on selzer/cran since visiting Maren? Will Robinson sounds amusing, if slightly dangerous.