My father-in-law gets The New Yorker. I used to but the pressure to read 75 page articles taxed my parent brain: I was too busy worrying! And cleaning! I sometimes steal his and leaf through the cartoons, the movie reviews and if I see an author I like – or even recognize – I’ll stop and read it. I like this about being an adult: if I don’t want to finish something, I just plain don’t. Then I started to feel guilty, so I subscribed to McSweeney’s and The Believer, because way back when I was literary I loved the idea of Dave Eggers’ organization…and his pirate store! Also loved his first book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and I may one of the few people that thinks it does not need editing. Read it. Have your teenager read it.
I now receive the mags and have let my kids peruse them, plus I get to feel like I’m exposing them to what’s hip in the land of the literati and the social minded, all at once. Sadly, I read it for Nick Hornby’s column in The Believer about the books he has stacked on his night table juxtaposed with the books he actually reads. I love his style: regular guy, self-deprecating, witty, soccer maniac, not afraid to have an opinion. If you like him, try The Polysyllabic Spree.
Every Spring I lose my mind a little. Whether it’s because it’s birthday season around here, it’s baseball/softball season, it’s more travel for my husband, my kids are tired and crabby, I can’t be sure. But it happens. Once I cried in front of my daughters’ first grade teachers. Inexplicably. At a pool party. This is when I search for the perfect mystery, the one with the flawed characters, the puzzle eventually solved, the romance that can’t last. And grit, something with some edge, like the Tana French books, although maybe not as droopy in the middle. If anyone has any suggestions, send it to me!