Wednesday, March 21, 2012
It occurs to me that I may never actually have mentioned here the simple fact that, concurrent to all the various doings recorded in the Cabinet, I am of course always and perpetually reading. It kind of feels like it goes without saying really. I don't mention that I breathe in and out, either, but you can safely assume that I do. Granted, I don't read quite as much as I did in my pre-motherhood years, but, still, it forms some part of each day. And the vast majority of what I read, what takes up the lion's share of my bookshelves, is fiction. So it is a mildly notable fact, for me, that for the first time in I have no idea how long, I have just finished one nonfiction book and started another. Two back-to-back non-novels? Practically unheard of.
The first was James Thurber's fine old mid-(last)-century volume The Years with Ross--his memoir of his long working friendship with Harold Ross, original Editor in Chief of the New Yorker. Thurber is, in general, fantastic and this book is no exception--not only is it a fine and entertaining evocation of a certain era and milieu in New York City, but it is one of the relatively few great reading books out there about the art and craft of editing (Stet by Diana Athill is another).
The second book I picked up, theoretically, for work (wanting to see if Gretchen Rubin would be a good person to ask to write a foreword to a book I'm working on). On the surface of it The Happiness Project didn't seem like quite my sort of thing. A little too self-help-y for my taste, I'd have thought. But I'd have been wrong. From the first page Rubin's forthright voice and charming openness has had me hooked. I'm not very far into the book yet, but it is already making me quite happy (and that seems like an especially good sign given its subject matter).
I wanted nice images, not just cover thumbnails, for this post, but I did not get it together to shoot the books myself. So I am grateful for the fact that Phinney and Fable Vintage Books and Your Magazine of Emerson College each did, respectively.