Posts Tagged ‘reading’
So I just threw out 2 New Yorkers today.
What’s the big deal? You are obviously thinking. A new New Yorker Magazine comes every week! You’re not one of those crazy pack rats, are you?
No, dear readers. No, I am not.
Nor am I, apparently… an actual New Yorker reader any more.
Because it’s a rare issue that I read more than the letters, a few cartoons, and half of the “About Town” section. More than that? It’s been months. Years? Close to it…
When I was a child, I thought the magazine was ridiculous. Words, words, words… BORING! I’d read each & every cartoon and then toss the thing aside. But once I graduated college and was floating about trying my luck in the City of Angels… I suddenly discovered its value. Words, words, words! Glorious words! Thoughtful words! Pithy words! Funny words! Politically liberal words!
Fiction, interviews, investigative stories, opinion items, profiles, band and movie reviews, and yes… the cartoons. Loved all of it, every week. Gobbled it up. Felt smart, felt fulfilled, felt like I was not alone, felt informed, felt like I was a New Yorker by proxy.
It happened slowly, over time.
First, I discovered The Week (news crack).
Then, I had three children.
I used to read novels, too, by the way. I would devour them, eat them alive, suck the marrow out of them and they would leave me breathless.
I did read The Help. And… um… the Harry Potter Books? Which got progressively less awesome. And a few others, here and there…
But mostly, I watched TV and lived life.
Which, dear readers, can be exhausting.
I think I may not renew my New Yorker subscription this fall.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Every Friday, I will post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!
And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memories, word for word, photogenically, I say:
What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!
If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.
Judy Blume was totally my surrogate mother while I was growing up.
Gentle readers, are you there? It’s me – Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)!
I actually did a monologue from one of her books as a kid, auditioning for a Washington, DC professional children’s troupe. And I got in.
I mean, who of you can say that you didn’t cry with that Blubber girl, bite your nails with Margaret, and hold your breath along with the rest of Judy Blume’s teenage heroines, as you took breaks from your overwhelming teen & pre-teen days to just lose yourself in a book? I even liked Judy Blume’s early childhood books, with kids who had names like Turtle and Fudge.
Question: Did any of you discover Judy Blume’s other books?
Por ejemplo, Wifey?
That book… rocked. My. World.
My twelve and thirteen year old world, to be exact.
To this day I still remember Shep, the sexy man who drove by the protagonist’s house (don’t remember her name, and who cares! She was me, in my fantasy) – and how Shep dropped his pants & masturbated, then leaving her – me – alone again, with the image of a stars and stripes helmet and a naked, sexy man, masturbating for me. I mean her.
Somehow, when I write about that scene, I wonder how Judy Blume pulled that off – making that scene about basically a stranger flashing & jacking off to a woman hot and sexy, vs creepy and disgusting. But she did. That is exactly what makes Judy Blume such a frickin MASTER.
I found my dad’s stack of Playboys hidden in the basement cabinet one time when I was snooping around as a kid. I was pretty grossed out and annoyed that he had them in the house like that. But then again, I had my own secret stash upstairs… my dog-eared, worn from constant re-reading, thick sex novel, Wifey. By Judy Blume.
Holy shit. I’m revising this blog before signing off, and an old, buried memory just surfaced like a fart bubble in the bathtub. That book – Wifey? – originally belonged to my stepmother.
It’s all coming back to me – how I found it in one of their overstuffed, musty bookshelves, and stole it. I guess I just loved and obsessed about it so much, that I adopted it and it became mine. Now that I remember it first belonged to her, it feels a little grosser than before.
I still love you, Judy Blume. It’s not your fault my Dad & his wife were horndogs.
One last note: When I was seventeen I lost my virginity. Not because I was in love. Because I had read – at age 14-ish – Forever .
(By Judy Blume, DUH!)
Forever… In which the heroine, Katherine (I only know her name because I looked it up once as an adult – believe me, I wouldn’t have remembered because she was ME when I read the book), loses her virginity to Michael when she turns seventeen.
If seventeen was good enough for Judy Blume, it was good enough for me.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
I have always loved to read.
… certain types of books, that is…
I’m a fast reader, voracious, if I’m into the book. Well-written chic lit novels rank up there next to female comedienne memoirs (give me Bridget Jones’ Diary or Bedwetter any day, I will EAT THEM for lunch!). I love David Sedaris, and I LOVE those incredible, incredible, timeless novels like Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, Middlesex, Anywhere but Here, and the legendary Bastard out of Carolina.
Back in my theatre days I poured over plays – Chekhov, Stoppard, Williams, Shepard, Albee, Kushner, Durang, Mamet, Shakespeare… the list is endless and soooo many amazing amazing writers.
In high school I was obsessed with short story writers, Flannery O’Connor, O’Henry, and Carver being my all-time faves.
I have always loved and still enjoy uplifting memoirs and autobiographies – Autobiography of a Yogi and Many Lives, many Masters come to mind, as does Angela’s Ashes. Yes, duh, of course I loved Eat, Pray, Love. If you read it, so did you.
Kids books? Sometimes. Harry Potter, yes, Lemony Snicket not so much (hello, happy endings, people?!)…
Magazines? New Yorker, yeah, baby. The Week? Crack.
When I first started studying Kabbalah in 2001, I couldn’t get enough of the books – The Way was the first one I obsessed over; later came The 72 Names of God, Education of a Kabbalist, Secret Codes of the Universe, and God Wears Lipstick. But then I got into oversaturation mode and now, even though I have a brief blip of excitement whenever I see a new title (Writings of Rav Ashlag, wow!), I have not been able to bring myself to read an entire Kabbalah Centre book from start to finish in years.
Worse, though, are financial books. These are books, I might add, that are even more important for me to read than the Kabbalah books, because whereas I am still learning about spirituality from the weekly classes I take and lectures I hear, I learn nothing about financial wellness anywhere except in bite-size meaningless pieces spit out by the Yahoo.com machine.
And I could use some help in that area.
But I just can’t seem to focus. I mean, I cannot finish a financial educational book even if you promise me a chocolate bar and a Hawaiian vacation upon its completion. (It’s a little embarrassing that I actually place chocolate BEFORE Hawaii as my potential incentive, but I gotta be me, right?)
My friend recommended one book specifically for people like me & my husband, who are reliant upon ‘freelance’ fees (me, as a writer, and him, as a general contractor – no salaries, no 401Ks, you know?) and I bought it immediately.
Reading it? Didn’t happen quite so fast. I did glance through it. And then….
!!!!! Sorry folks!!!!!!
Just THINKING about that book put me right to sleep.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)